You can always pause the music on the player to the right and you can also view pictures larger by clicking on them :-)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lovin' My New Camera

Brock bought me an awesome camera for Christmas and I have been LOVING it. Despite the fact that I have ALOT to learn, am an amature and usually shoot in auto mode, it still takes great pics! I am excited about what it will be able to do when I start learning more :-)

I used my zoom lens to take pics of the kids playing at the park. It was so fun to just catch them playing, jumping, galloping through the snow and laughing. I love the way the white snow makes their colors so vivid!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Come on In

I have finally taken some pictures of our house in MT to show you our new stomping grounds :-) Unfortunately, our house in Minnesota has not sold yet so we are just renting here until it sells. We left half of our stuff in MN and only brought the essentials with us. Now, instead of looking all over for something we just say "oh it must be in MN still" and we are suddenly off the hook :-)

Here is the outside. We love the neighborhood - it is right across the street from a park, has an awesome view of the mountains, is less than a mile from grandpa and grandma, is 3.5 miles from Target and Costco and about 5 miles from lots of others (old navy, gap, pier one etc), and it is about 5 miles from where Brock works so he still comes home for lunch.

I haven't taken pictures of the main level yet. I will try to do that today - if I get a chance. You would think I have lots of time on my hands, not knowing anyone yet. I stay completely busy doing the normal things of the house (homeschool, running errands, cleaning, cooking etc.) I am not sure how I will fit an "outside life" in when the time comes :-) So, the pics for today are of the upper level. After going about 6 steps up, here you are in the hall

The first door on the right is the bathroom. The bathrooms are probably the worst rooms in the house - they need lots of work (mostly new floors, paint and vanity) But oh well, there are 3 of them so that is great! Another thing we really like is the nice tall ceilings in the main and upper levels.

The next door is our bedroom. It is nice and big with a bathroom (yeah!) and big closets. Although we do not have tv (at least for cable) we do LOVE to watch movies. I guess that would explain why we owned a movie theatre :-) It has been so fun having a nice big library to check out movies from. We checked out a PBS special on the Donner Party the other night. That was possibly a mistake - I dreamt I was fighting to survive along the oregon trail all night long! Brock said his dreams were filled with zombies! I suppose we may need to pick less tragic movies for the sake of our sleep :-)

If this were our house it would be pretty fun to redo the bathroom's. It wouldn't take much yet the difference would be like night and day! I know that people differ when it comes to what they think looks best but I thought maybe there was a general consensus about what doesn't look good. I guess not :-)

Moving on to the next room (this is at the end of the hall) is the school room/office. Painting is another thing I would do in this house if I could :-) I love having this room - it serves for alot of different things and we spend tons of time in here. I am in the process of getting all my scrapbook stuff set up in here also so I can do it whenever I find time :-) The big nice closet is perfect for organizing school supplies, crafts and scrapbook things.

The last room upstairs is the guest room/Hannah's room. If I failed to mention the intense need for repaiting in several rooms then I definately should mention it now :-) We tried to peal off the cherubs (is that what they are called?) but they are stuck HARD.When Erika (Brock's sister) tried to lay Finn down for a nap in here he kept pointing to them in distress. They are a tad scary looking I guess! Hannah has all her clothes and stuff in here but just not the most important thing - HERSELF. When we take the time to kick her out of our bed we will get her crib set up and get her in here. Hopefully she isn't scared of flying, chubby, naked kids on her wall :-)

There are 3 more levels to go! Once I am through then you will see why it is hard for me to keep it clean, at least keep it all clean at the same time :-)

Fun All Around

While the kids had fun in the backyard creating our family out of snow

I had fun in the front trying out my new camera's zoom lens. I never tire of the beautiful mountains out our window. They change their appearance constantly - it is crazy! With a fresh dusting of snow I couldn't resist photographing their beauty.
The kids and I aren't the only ones enjoying ourselves! Hannah is having fun inside the warmth of the house. She loves playing with this book - listening to it talk and jabbering back to it :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Love, Love, Love

I don't remember how it came to be that Madison LOVED horses. I guess she always did so there was no big realization. She was always an animal lover, since she was first aware of them. June 2004, when she was 3 1/2, she rode a horse for the first time while in MT visiting. It was a miniature horse and she was led around a little arena. She looked so cute in her little pink cowboy boots and she had a blast!
The following year, June 2005, she rode again while in MT - this time bareback on a full sized horse. She was already a natural around them, completely comfortable yet adequately cautious.

Although it was a couple years before she rode a horse again, her love for them continued to grow. She had stuffed horses, plastic horses, clay horses, books about horses, pictures of horses, clothes with horses, anything and everything horse! In July 2007, when she was almost 7, I heard of a place she could take lessons and quickly signed her up. She was thrilled and instantly fell in love with Kristen, her teacher, and Rogue, "her" horse. She cherished her time with them both and loved learning about riding and taking care of horses. She continued her lessons until we moved (Nov 2008). She misses Kristen and Rogue TONS and can't wait to go visit them!

This video is a collection of short video clips and photos of Madison enjoying her time with Kristen and Rogue.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Love to FLY?

Hannah loves it when Brock does this - she comes running back for more, more, more! He does this to Isaac also and has tried to continue with Madison but she is getting a little too big :-) It freaks me out every once in awhile but I am confident he has it under control :-)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Oh Be Careful . . .

I have never heard Isaac sing this song before, then suddenly all day I hear him singing it. He is singing it early in the morning before he's even out of bed, in his room while playing, in the bathroom while (well, you know), in the kitchen while doing jobs and all over the house. I spent the first part of the day trying to get a video without him seeing me. It was not working so I asked him if he could sing it for me while I record (not really expecting him too). He readily said, YES and away he went. Madison was making cookies so he decided that he would sing while she did that. He sat up there singing his heart away over and over. It was so adorable. Madison was really cute too because she kept telling him how much she loved listening to him sing, how nice he was singing and so on. She isn't usually full of compliments for he brother so that was really nice. I took several videos and most of them he sang through it flawlessly but this one cracked me up so much I had to put it on (over the more "flawless" ones) He forgets the words and pauses and you see him mouthing the words to himself and shaking his head "no" or "yes". It is so funny. He is not rattled at all by this temporary mind blank - he continues on full force. He also is not flustered when Hannah starts throwing a fit in the background - he just sings louder. He is learning the ropes of a performer :-) He is really getting into the guitar too :-)

Jabbering Little Girl

Hannah is quite the little "talker". Here are a few videos I took last week (please excuse the pj's and dirty face - when they are acting cute there is no time for spiffing up) :-) Out of the blue, Hannah points to her cousin Finn's picture and keeps saying "Binn" It took me a second to tell what she was saying! I guess she is missing Finn :-)

As you can see, not only is Hannah missing Finn she is missing Grandpa too. I don't know why she insists she sees him outside, wishful thinking I guess :-) She loves living by grandpa and grandma and cuddles up with them any chance she gets :-)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Boy Do I Love . . . .

"My mommy and my cousin Hannah" Finn happily said

"Doing puzzles with Aunt Erika" Madison replied
"This nice, big, black dog" Finn exclaimed

"A nice sturdy horse to sit on" Hannah said confidently
"Definately one of grandma's ginger snap cookies" Finn said with a mouth full
"Playing with cousins" Hannah, Isaac and Finn shouted simultaneously

Madison, Hannah, Isaac and Finn told you some of the things they love and

Here are some things I love:
1. God and learning more about Him because my purpose in life is to glorify Him and enjoy Him FOREVER

2. My handsome hubby who makes me laugh, makes me feel loved and makes me happy to be his wife

3. My three kids who make me love everything about being a stay at home mom and help me grasp God's love for us

4. My family and all the time "spent together" (whether on the phone, in person or on the computer) because they encourage me, challenge me and love me always

5. My friends because they are always there when I need them (even if its just by phone these days) :-)
6. Living in a beautiful place surrounded by mountains that make me in awe of God's power

7. Snuggling up with my hubby for a movie so we can "experience" another world, another era, another time together

8. The ocean because it makes me feel refreshed and relaxed

9. The sun beating down on me because I love the warmth

10. Taking pictures and scrapbooking because I love expressing our life in a visual way

11. Anything and everything chocolate because it is so tasty

Okay, now it is your turn - what are some things you love???

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Memories, Cold, Riding, Stuck, Fun, Snow

The title doesn't give justice to our day trip to a forest service cabin high atop the mountain. Matt and Donna rented a cabin for all of us to enjoy the day after Christmas. Due to its location they also rented snowmobiles to get us there. It was an approximately 9 mile ride. Matt and Donna were on one sled, Chris, Erika and Finn on another and all five of us on the last one. We had a sled attached to the back which Hannah, Madison and I rode in. There was TONS of snow (mostly fresh) and it was very cold (around 10). Unfortunately, problems arose before we even left the parking area. Brock's sled had suspension problems so could not be ridden. Luckily, they had rented an extra sled so we quickly got switched over and ready to go. Next, Hannah did not like her helmet. She screamed and cried and twisted and turned for the first part of the ride. I knew I wasn't going to take it off so all I could do was hold her and wait for her to calm down. She eventually did and was so wore out she fell asleep. The ride was quite eventful - it took us 2 hours! After a combination of slow riding, getting stuck multiple times, Finn having an "I have had it" meltdown, one really long dig out and Erika and Finn doing a backwards summersault off the back of Matt's sled we finally arrived. We were all frozen and less than chipper :-) Luckily, the beautiful views, crackling fire and delicious meal soon changed our moods. However, we all dreaded the thought of packing back up and leaving in a few short hours! We sure wished we had planned to spend the night.

We intended to get pictures of the whole group, but unfortunately ran out of time. I was glad to get a few good family pictures. Isn't the cabin nice? It was small and cozy and consisted of one room and a loft.

The view was absolutely beautiful. There were pine trees galore, mountains in the distance and you could see the town down below.
We didn't spend much time outside - just long enough to get these pictures. However, Grandma and Madison ran down the hill a little and did some exploring.

Inside the cozy cabin
Brock and Chris were missing their Wii competitions so luckily found a table ping pong game. Unfortunately, the game never really took off between the ball getting lost over and over and Brock's inability to control his hits :-)

The ride back was much quicker than the way there, with only a few minor issues. First, Chris and Erika were dragging a bag from their gear sled so Brock jumped off to get it back on. Isaac was sitting on the sled still and it was running (one of those dumb things we all do without thinking). Suddenly there was a lot of revving and we took off, it was dark and I was sitting backwards so couldn't see what was going on. Isaac had fallen asleep on the throttle and Brock had to run and jump on it and grab him off. We were very lucky that nothing serious happened, other than scaring us all. He didn't even realize what he had done so luckily was not traumatized by it. Second, I got sick from a combination of motion sickness and exhaust fumes. Sitting in the sled you get COVERED in snow and your goggles get very fogged up and frozen. I was trying to get more comfortable so I sat backwards. This wasn't such a good idea because all the twisting, turning and bumps made me get motion sick. Also, the fumes were really strong and getting to me. I kept feeling like I was going to puke so continually took my helmet on and off. Finally for the last stretch I just left it off. I didn't care how cold I was because I felt so yucky and knew I didn't want to puke in my helmet! :-) I was so glad to get to the car - I was pretty out of it, dizzy, nauseaous and freezing. We got home and I went to bed. Thankfully, I felt pretty good the next day (other than a head ache).

So . . . as Chris so perfectly put it - it was a character building day!! We had plenty of good and plenty of bad but how else are memories made? The events that are peppered with discomfort, unexpected delays and other mishaps are the ones that stick with you the most. We aren't promised smooth sailing but we are expected to make the most of what comes our way! I think we all succeeded in this and I'm certain we will all happily do it again when the opportunity arises!

Fun with Cousins

Yes, I know I am still catching up from Christmas! I could just skip ahead but then I wouldn't be able to post all these adorable pictures!!

Christmas Day - Hannah playing with her new baby and stroller. She is so cute with her babies, she gets them set in the stroller just right, she changes their diapers (using wipes and all), she hugs them, kisses them, changes their clothes etc.
Hannah and her cousin Finn were quite a cute pair. They both had cowboy boots on and were going to town stomping around the kitchen.
Finn skipped right past the "stomping" and moved into the dancing! I wished I had a video of his moves - he had quite a few! As you can see he is pretty proud of the response he was getting out of us! Hannah was content just watching him dance, she never felt the urge to join in :-)