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Flamenco Fun!

Flamenco Fun!

While on our Santa Fe museum tour, we enjoyed dressing up at a flamenco exhibit…


The inspiration resulted  in grandma’s gift of flamenco skirts for Katya and I, and a visit to the thrift store yielded just the right hat and shirt for Nathan.  Unfortunately, a bad fall on the playground gave Katya a sprained ankle that put quite a crimp in her flamenco dancing aspirations for a few weeks.  We almost didn’t go to our annual church Family Fun Night, but Katya was a trooper and we ended up enjoying FFN in style.  (Our valiant Sheriff was busy running the event, so he and his impressive western sideburns didn’t make it into the photo).


As a fun side note, we also received the gift of some face-painting pencils.  Katya enlisted Than’s artistry to come up with this fun design!


Even a reluctant Nathan was persuaded to try out a mustache for a little while.


Happy Halloween–come on over for cotton candy and flamenco fun!


Back to School

Back to School

Back to school?  How did it happen?!!  This one is a smart, tall, thoughtful 5th grader.


And here is my cheery, careful, confident 2nd grader.



They were both pretty ready to go back.  Back-to-school shopping is an expensive but joyous day in our house, helping to get everyone excited about the year to come.  Perhaps our not-even-close-to-Pinteresty-perfect last day of summer helped too.  In any case, it wasn’t as hard as I thought to get everyone up and going for the first day of the year.


Off to new adventures!  (And mom came home to a quiet house.  Ahhh….)

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!


Because Halloween was on a Friday this year, we decided to do something special.  Than rented a cotton candy machine and we set up shop in the garage, making and handing out over 50 bags of cotton candy.


The kids had been looking forward to this treat for days and they especially had fun taking bags around to our neighbors in a little bit of reverse Trick-or-Treating.


(In case you are wondering, Katya’s costume is supposed to be a Dalmation dog and Nathan is an easel with a chalkboard on one side and a whiteboard on the other.)

We ate our traditional Halloween chili out in the garage, carved pumpkins out there in between guests, and generally had a great evening talking with people and being together as a family.  Some of the parents were almost as excited about cotton candy as their kids were, and I think it will be a family memory that will last a long time for us.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Litany of Thanksgiving, from the Book of Common Prayer

Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so freely bestowed upon us.

For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea.  We thank you, Lord.


For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ, we thank you, Lord.


For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends, we thank you, Lord.


For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve, we thank you, Lord.


For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play, we thank you, Lord.


For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity, we thank you, Lord.

For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice, we thank you, Lord.


For the communion of saints, in all times and places, we thank you, Lord.


Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord; 

To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

(Thanks to the What’s in the Bible blog for bringing this prayer to my attention.)

Fall Colors

Fall Colors

The leaves have fallen, we’ve had some snow, but I realized I forgot to share these beautiful fall photos from October.  Than and the kids went on a hike with Than’s parents and brought these memories back with them.  Enjoy!

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With frost and snow on the horizon, I sent the kids out to gather whatever they wanted from the garden while I re-potted the herbs to bring inside.  They had a fabulous time pretending they were farmers from the Ipad game “Hay Day” while they cut, collected, and puttered about.  They filled basket after basket with green tomatoes, herb clippings, flowers, and even a few forgotten zucchini!


(Enjoy the sneak peak of Nathan wearing glasses–those are just play ones with no lenses, but I am sure his time is coming…)




Where were we over one month ago?  Guess…



Nope, despite the rainy days and the boat photo, it wasn’t Seattle.  We were enjoying the Baylor family trip to Breckenridge!  Despite some bicycle hiccups and chilly mornings, we managed to have a fun time enjoying fall in the mountains.  


Time with grandparents and cousins is definitely the best part of the trip.  Games, hot tub, lots of coloring, bike riding on the driveway, and shared meals are all becoming traditions we look forward to.


Our favorite new adventure this time was visiting the free history museum in Frisco.  There were several houses to explore, stamps on a passport to collect, artifacts to view, interesting signs to read, videos to watch, and even hats to try on!


We are grateful for a beautiful place to build memories as a family.





Happy Reformation Day!

Happy Reformation Day!


Yes, this blogger still exists, absent though she has been for the past month!  But never fear–the lack of posts is because we have been busy with all kinds of fun things, so there is lots to share over the coming days.  Today, you can just giggle at my silly kids–showing off some fun disguises from Bonzo’s Halloween box, and dressed up as Princess Peach and Luigi at Family Fun Night last week.  (In case you are wondering, I went as “The Sunday School Lady” from What’s in the Bible with Buck Denver.  In case you are still wondering, “What’s in the Bible…” is our top pick for best Christian kids DVD series.  Google it if you are still wondering!!!)


Beauty in the Leaf Pile

Beauty in the Leaf Pile

One of the pre-Thanksgiving chores around our house is getting the leaves cleaned up before the heavy snow comes.  The task fell more in my lap this year, since Than ended up using the day we set aside for that to procure a new basement freezer instead!!  (A whole different story there, but anyway…)

As I started the job with my two kids in tow, I saw a bunch of dead leaves carpeting the yard. I heard whining and complaining from my helpers and felt the cold wind cut through my coat.  Not a great beginning.  But as we worked and I reflected, I realized I was surrounded by beauty.  Katya started it by discovering these, huge and brilliant, buried under all the rest…

Once I began to look, the list grew rapidly…

…the outfits of my work force, very unique choices for the job ahead.

…the roar of military planes overhead, flying in observance and ceremony rather than conflict and fear.

…bright red against the brown.

…bright orange too.

…progress, both in lawn cleared and in attitudes changed.

…peace and quiet on a perfectly still street, kids inside cleaning and me outside with a chance to think and listen.

…grey clouds giving a still hush and sending much needed moisture (but kindly waiting until we were nearly done.)

…bright beauty to bring inside long after the rest of the flowers are gone.

God has surrounded me with His beauty.  I’m so glad when I see it!



Here are some quick pictures from our pumpkin carving escapades (and no, they did not come from the garden–only one plant grew, and it bloomed one week before the frost.  Not too good for growing pumpkins!)

We read a book about Martin Luther, sang “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” and roasted pumpkin seeds.  Fun!

Katya enlisted Daddy’s help to make her princess, Nathan gave me instructions for various shapes, and Than carved our third pumpkin with some pretty swirls.  Lighting them is always fun, and the squirrels enjoyed them even more than we did once they made it out to the back porch.  Now we have very fat squirrels!

We also enjoy going to Family Fun Night at church this time of year.  Daddy works very hard overseeing everything, but the biggest excitement this year was going with some friends from school.  I think Nathan and Katya liked that even better than playing the games and collecting candy!  Katya went as a princess, of course, in a costume of her own creation out of the dress up box.  Nathan stuck with tradition and went as Thomas the Tank Engine.  I’m so grateful for that costume!