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

Friday, October 30, 2009


I wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes (from an awesome website called Of First Importance) and a few of my favorite (non kid) photos from this month.
(Our winter view)

“He came to free a people,
For ‘Jesus’ was His name;
To bear the sins of many,
The Lord of Love, He came.
He numbered with transgressors;
God’s judgment He withstood.
The splinters of the manger
Foretold a cross of wood.
He came for us, true Son of Man,
He came to pain and strife.
The Promised One, Emmanuel,
He came to bring us life!”
- Kevin Hartnett, He Came for Us
(from a bouquet of flowers Brock brought me this week)

“How amazing that God in Christ should do all this;
that the Most High, the Most Holy should be the All Loving too;
that the ineffable Majesty should stoop to take upon himself our flesh,
subject to hunger and cold, death and desperation.
We see him lying in the feedbox of a donkey, laboring in a carpenter’s shop,
dying a derelict under the sins of the world.
The gospel is not so much a miracle as a marvel,
and every line is suffused with wonder.”
—Roland Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther

Just the two photos alone speak volumes of what a magnificent Creator we have. The beauty He surrounds us with is astounding. But that pales in comparison to what He did for us on the cross. These two quotes reminded me anew of what I have been given through Him. I love that Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I am humbled that He has given me so much to be thankful for.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Journey

I love travelling. I love seeing places I have never seen. I love visiting not only our destination but places along the way. I have been on a lot of road trips with many different people and realized quickly there are two kinds of people. First, there are those who like to get to their destination as soon as possible. Second, those who take it a little slower and enjoy several little destinations along the way. Brock and I are definately part of the latter group. We like to enjoy the ride, stop at new places, stop at familiar places, find a good restraunt to eat at etc. Unfortunately, most of the time we don't have that luxury. We are short on time and have no other option but to get there asap. Thankfully, on our trip to Salt Lake City earlier this month we were able to make a practical stop (potty break for Hannah) into an enjoyable stop. It was really fun to find a fun place to let the kids run, to take pictures and to see the beauty of a new place.

This stop in St. Anthony Idaho had beautiful fall colors, a pretty stream, a peaceful lake and a really cool army tank. Best of all was the fact that it was right next to the gas station.

Despite growing up in Idaho I don't make it back there very often. It was so fun to be there again - even if it was southeren Idaho instead of northern :-)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Heading UP

While visiting Chris and Erika we headed out to see and experience the mountains. We decided we also wanted to check out OctoberFest (being held at a ski resort) so found a short hike in the same area. Unfortunately, there was much more snow than we anticipated and it was very windy so many of us weren't fully prepared (hats, gloves, boots) but we decided to go for it anyways :-) The road to get to the trailhead was gated so we ended up walking a bit further than we expected but still not too crazy.

Madison and Isaac were rearing to go. Madison kept that energy and was usually way up ahead but Isaac's energy eventually disappeared and he had to be prodded along or carried along half of the time. Chris, Finn and Madison checking out the map.

And we're off - Brock (with Hannah hidden on his back), Isaac, Bruce (Brock and Erika's dad who was visiting from Wisconsin), Madison, Erika, Chris and Finn.
Uh oh, Isaac hasn't made it too far and he is already hitching a "ride" - this may be a long hike :-)

Maybe if he hadn't burned so much energy throwing snowballs and running from snowballs earlier :-)

I tried to catch him doing his "na na na you can't get me" but he put his hands down right as I was taking it :-) You can still get the idea by his posture, hand position and big smile :-) Brock of course had to show him who was boss and got him right in the head :-) Isaac thought it was pretty funny!

We are all starting to wonder where the lake is :-) It was supposed to be a .4 mile hike and it feels like we have already gone that far :-) Chris and Madison are waiting behind the trees to attack the stragglers with snowballs :-)

We are now to the rocky, steep stuff. It is beautiful - such a variety, trees, shrubs, color, snow, grass, snowy mountains, rock covered mountains etc.

We have finally arrived at Cecret Lake. It is so pretty and we all agree worth the effort to get there :-)

Erika, Finn, Bruce (grandpa), Chris, Madison, Isaac, Hannah (fast asleep), Brock and me
Chris, Madison and Isaac off in the distance
Erika and Finn
Heading back down - Chris and Brock (with Isaac and Hannah)
It was pretty steep and icy heading back down - but very beautiful. We made it down much faster as we were all getting hungry and cold
I had to take a picture of the sign because we still couldn't believe it was only .4 miles (plus the walk to the trailhead)
It was so exciting to see two moose on our walk back to the car. They were not too far off the road busy eating in the trees.I have seen a female moose once before but never a male. It was very cool.
We stopped at OktoberFest and ate our lunch and walked around a little bit. It wasn't too exciting and the food lines were SO long we decided not to sample anything. The drive down was almost as beautiful as the hike - there was so much color everywhere and seeing the city down below was really cool

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Hanging Out

We had a lot of fun just hanging around the house with Erika, Chris and Finn and of course Grandpa. They have a great backyard that was so easy to relax in. There was a hammock or comfy chairs for the adults, swing, slide or sand for the kids and grass to roam in for the dogs. The only thing that completed our time outside was the ice cream truck!! Grandpa treated the kids and of course we all helped them finish it :-) Hudson tried his best to help Hannah with her treat :-)

Isaac and Finn are good buddies. They are so cute together, always getting along great.

Acting shy with grandpa can only last so long, he is really quick to make them laugh. :-)

The clan shortly before we had to leave. We all had a great time and we were so glad it worked out to visit at the same time as their dad (grandpa) was there.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Farewell Summer

In honor of our summer coming to an abrupt halt I made a video of some of our summer highlights. Hopefully, this will help prolong my favorite season a little bit :-)

Vaccine Anyone?????

One of the blogs I enjoy reading had a post about the swine flu vaccine. She also included a news clip from Fox that was very good. The info shared by the doctor on Fox sure isn't what I'm used to hearing - are you???? Check it out here.

I couldn't resist putting these pics of the kids with the cute little pigs in here. Hey, it's slightly on topics :-)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Why I Love My "Job"

1. I love watching them dress up and play so creatively

2. I love how they quickly pose for pictures (sometimes eagerly sometimes not so eagerly) - no matter how many times I ask

3. I love seeing their little entrepeneurial desires - along with our next door neighbor, Gabi, they set up a vegetable stand and worked hard at it. They even made signs and held them up for each passing car - such persistance

4. I love how they love going to the thrift store with me and are equally excited with my good finds (isn't this suit adorable!)
5. I love how they try to be serious when I pull out the camera but can't help but break out into a smile

and of course
6. I love how they teach me something new each day about living as God commanded - "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends" John 15:12-13 (ESV)
As a mother and wife God gives me multiple opportunities (daily) to lay down my life for them and show them love. It isn't always easy and it usually means I don't get to do what I want. But, God doesn't call me to do something impossible. He is there to help me, giving me the grace to succeed. So often it feels like I am failing at this but His mercies are new every morning and I am expected to get up and try again :-) I am so thankful to be home with them and equally thankful for the daily lessons (often painful) I receive in setting aside my "self" and serving my family.
I am reading an awesome book that is a great reminder of why I do what I do. It is also a great reminder of the high and holy calling God has placed on the lives of wives and mothers. It is called Passionate Housewives Desperate for God, read it for yourself.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another Weekend at "Our" Cabin

Okay so it isn't really our cabin but we have been there enough times that it is starting to feel like ours :-) We rented a forest service cabin (again) a couple weeks ago and had a great time. We have been to this specific cabin many times and for the first time there were cows up there. It was so strange to have them freely roaming around - sometimes closer than I wanted. I don't really like going out to use the bathroom once it is dark and now with the cows around I definately wasn't about to go out alone :-) I was afraid of bumping into one, spooking one or just being being startled by their sudden appearance. This may be picture overload but I took alot this weekend and had trouble widdling it down :-)
It was great weather the first two days and the first evening - nice and warm in the day and perfectly cool at night. The second night we had an amazing thunderstorm. It was loud and bright and beautiful. We saw huge bolts of lightning striking the town below (not really but it looked like it) and heard amzingly LOUD thunder. I can't believe the kids slept through the noise! It brought in very cool weather the next day so we had to keep a fire going. The kids loved gathering the wood.
Madison loved having the cows nearby. She tried continually to pet one or at least feed one but it never worked. She had them all named and drew a picture of them.
We brought the Razr, Brock's dirt bike and the kid's little dirt bike. It is actually Isaac's but he can't ride it yet so Madison likes to cruise around on it. Despite the fact that it is quite small for her, she has a lot of fun on it.
Madison and Brock rode to the end of the driveway to open the gate so grandpa and grandma could come visit.
Of course we had to have S'mores one night. We roasted them on the stove because it was windy and cold outside
I have always hated guns. Looking at them, holding them and especially the thought of shooting them makes me shudder. Brock loves shooting and is always trying to get me to try it. He especially wants me to know enough about a gun to protect myself if necessary. Madison had a birthday party in town on Saturday so Brock took the Razr in to drop her off and later to pick her up. I was a bit uneasy while he was gone. That unease coupled with his persistance led me to have my first ever shooting lesson :-) It wasn't quite as bad as I expected although I wouldn't say it was "fun". I feel like I could use one if I had to, which is what I wanted to accomplish. I am not saying I would hit what I was aiming for - something to conquer another time :-)
During my lesson we found Isaac was having some fun of his own! Another benefit to having cows around :-) Breakfast on the porch and early morning art are two perks of "our" mountain cabin. Out for a ride - it was so fun to explore the area and see where we would end up.
It was fun to see the sun shining on the town below. Despite the fact that we couldn't feel a thing at least we could see it :-)

A ladder in the middle of nowhere (it was actually a ramp) that the kids all wanted to climb. Madison (our little collector) begged to bring it back with us but Brock held firm - "NO"

The cows loved gathering around the firepit and chowing away. We couldn't see anything worth eating it there but they sure did. They looked so funny with their soot covered noses.
Just looking at this makes me hungry!! We brought Papa Murphy's up with us for the first night and baked it in the stove. It was DELICIOUS!!
Although they look hilarious and we laughed when we saw them it was a drag trying to clean them up. I didn't have extra clothes for them or even warm soapy water. They did get clean enough and headed back out to get dirty again. You realize it doesn't really matter how dirty you get because you will only get dirtier as the day continues :-) However, they were told the fire pit is no longer a place to play :-)
The view from one of the trails we were on