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School Begins

School Begins

Here they are, ready for the first day of school!


Nathan, Mr. Experienced Third Grader, rolled back into the swing of things without too much anticipation or hesitation.  He is taking his role as big brother very seriously, which I appreciate.  He is enjoying his teacher and his friends, and is happy that the homework hasn’t quite started yet.


Katya was looking forward to the start of kindergarten with lots of anticipation and a fair amount of hesitation.  She is so proud of all her new school supplies, but was also pretty nervous especially the day or two before school started.  Her teachers are wonderful and we were able to see her new classroom a few times before school started, so that helped a lot.  When we finally walked into the room on the first morning she made it to her desk and started settling in.  She looked so small and yet so grown-up, all at the same time.  I managed to grin at her and say goodbye, but didn’t dare turn around for long when I heard her call “Goodbye, mom!” as I left the room.  No tears were shed, but I was certainly close!


And no, don’t worry, Nathan isn’t bringing his teddy bear to school nor is Katya allowed to keep her blankie in her desk.  They do wait in the car for their respective owners, however…

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!



It has been a few weeks now, but here are some favorite photos from our family weekend getaway to Breckenridge.

It was our second annual Baylor family mini reunion–we all live within 1 hour of each other, but it can be surprisingly hard to find time together!!

The weather was beautiful and our rented house was spacious enough for everyone to enjoy comfortably.

We did some window shopping, managed to get all 11 people on the bike trail at the same time, splashed in the hot tub, enjoyed the park, shared some delicious meals, played games, and even got to watch a fireworks show in nearby Frisco.

I think my favorite part was watching the cousins play together–Nathan was so sad when it was time for Eli, Abi, and Micah to go home!

Maize Maze

Maize Maze

A few weeks ago we got a free pass to go to the Botanic Garden’s Corn Maze.

I think we were the only people there who stopped after the first marker for popsicles and had Italian sodas at the halfway point!  Than packs a great treat backpack…

Fall is Really Here!

Fall is Really Here!

Yesterday there was something in my front yard that looked like this…

Last night we pulled in the green tomatoes, clipped all the blossoms, and re-potted the herbs into the windowsill, because today, we woke up to this…

I love living in Colorado with dramatic seasons!!  (Especially knowing it will probably be 70 degrees again next week…)

Second Grade

Second Grade

Summer one day, school the next–it was that easy this year!

Here is my second grader on the first day of school…

He likes his teacher and has two of his favorite friends in his class, so all is well.  Hooray!

Rewind #3

Rewind #3

Obviously the Thanksgiving holiday has been central to our recent past activities!  We began our traditional thankful chain several weeks ago and enjoyed reviewing it on Thanksgiving day (while waiting for our dinner to finish cooking…)

We will continue adding links to the chain throughout the Christmas season.

We started the day with the Macy’s parade, and then enjoyed a quiet afternoon before our evening dinner.  Thanksgiving was also mom and dad’s 32nd anniversary so mom shared her roses and we used their wedding photos to decorate our Thanksgiving table.

We had a Thanksgiving meal earlier in the week with my adult Sunday school class at church, and I made a turkey for that, so our actual Thanksgiving menu was a roasted apple and walnut salad, marinated pork loin, traditional bread stuffing, broccoliflower with garlic and lemon, and cranberry pecan cake with whipped cream for dessert.  Not perfectly traditional, but a perfect fit for us!

The day after Thanksgiving is our Christmas decorating day and it was fun to have mom and dad here to be in on the action.  With kids who are old enough to be helpful and four adults, we made short work of the seasonal decor change!  I’ll may post some more decor photos later, but here are the kids diving into the Christmas tree ornaments…

I just love this time of year!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We’re busy having a great Thanksgiving holiday with Grandma and Grandpa, so there will be lots more posts later, but for now we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!  God is so good, and we are so grateful.

Time for Snow!

Time for Snow!

We happily greeted our first snow a few weeks ago.  Nathan was rooting for 30 inches and a snow day, but didn’t quite get that.  He had to go to school but as soon as he left, Katya pulled on her boots and headed for the backyard.

She played quite happily by herself, exploring the newly white world.  The kids got to play again after school with Daddy outside, checking out all the branches broken off by the weight of fresh snow on still-green leaves.  Hooray for wet white stuff!

(You can see the remnants of our “last night of fall” celebration, which involved roasting marshmallows outdoors in the fire pit knowing that the cold was soon to follow.)