Wednesday, January 22, 2014


How could one resist the challenge to make a snow mudman?? 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Meet Abe Lincoln!

Can I just say how much I enjoy living in Virginia! There are always so many wonderful things happening around the state and the history opportunities are endless. This weekend we went to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Stafford, Virginia! While there we met some very important people. Keely was a bit shy for the day, but Brayden did not hesitate to give his best high five for Mr. Lincoln!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


We are bringing in the new year with new milestones! We've waited 5 years to get here but we're looking forward to many more adventures ahead. We took an impromptu trip to Massanutten Resort. The kids did really well and Brayden was the biggest surprise of all catching on pretty quickly. He of course was ready to go from baby steps to sprints asking to go ahead and go to the top of the mountain while we had to explain we weren't quite ready for that. But allowed him to go on his own while we would sprint for our lives stayed cautiously next to him. Keely had some difficulty understanding the concept of balancing but with time and practice she will get there. They had a great time and are eager for more. I'm just thankful we ALL survived! Ready for more family memories to be made :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

First Day of Co-Op

We have begun school people! That's right, we have dove into our first official year of school and very excited. We are enjoying learning Proverbs and how the Lord wants us to be wise. We enjoy phoneme segmentation (so far) and love sorting and building with pattern blocks! Another new this year, is joining a co-op! We are very excited to make new friends, have a little independence and doing some fun projects. Being new to this area we thought this would be a great outlet for all three of us and a way to meet some other families and make new friends. The first day both kids did GREAT! They had a great time, loved the Mommies who teach their class (oh, and Mom had fun with her new friends too.)
 Keely, my dear little girl. You have such a spark in you. Dad and I both love how sweet and compassionate your little heart is. Yet, you have an edge about you that let's us know you are fearless and a leader. We see how specially made you are by our Creator everyday and are trying to guide you to His way. You enjoy writing making sure you get it just right. As you are learning to read you take your time and we love your excitement when you put all the words together. We love you sweet girl!
 You loved your first day getting to be with your new friends, Haven, Ellie and Gracie. You and Haven seem to have a special bond, both a little shy and quiet but then you and Ellie seem like you want to stir things up. It will be so fun to see how the bonds of you girls develop. I'm so happy you are making friends who share your same love of the Lord. 
 Brayden boy, how you make me laugh. You can be such a ham, enjoying making those around you laugh. You have a sweetness in you that is so endearing to my heart. Giving Mama kisses at random. You are sensitive and we know you like to take your time and when you are ready you can tackle anything. We have been so surprised at your excitement to read alongside your sister. Writing was a challenge just a few months ago and now you work at it with such patience and grace. Your heart continues to grow in love of our Savior. You enjoy reading so many stories from the Bible and want to understand all that we share. God has made you so unique and we see His love in you.
 Brayden your first day was GREAT! You were brave letting Mom go to my class and staying with your Mom teacher like a big boy. You had strong muscles stirring applesauce for your "A" day. You waved by Mom as you passed me in the hall letting me know that you felt so comfortable with your new friends. You loved your day and we were so proud of you for being so brave!
Keely and Brayden you are such a special pair. You both love each other so much looking out for one another. One of your favorite things to do is playing princess and cowboy (sometime princess and princess.) Even though there are days moments that we have to be reminded to share, be kind and use pleasant words with one another, your bond is special. You are brother and sister. You were placed in this family and God chose you two to help look out for one another. I pray your bond continues to grow and that you not only stay brother and sister in this family, but you will be brother and sister in Christ.
 Love you both and what a great start to our year!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

VA Beach

It's the end of summer and we took this crew down to Virginia Beach for one more rodeo of summer sand, sand, sand fun. Truly enjoying some relaxation, being in the sun, and catching some waves. (Get ready for photo overload)
We have been getting our share of practice catching with Dad at home and wanted to take the fun to the beach. Nothing better than throwing the ball there on the sandy beach!
 My brave, fearless little girl. This year at the beach you wanted to expand to the fun of body boarding and you were a success! I love that you do not fear the ocean and are always willing to try. If you get beat up you jump up and casually say "I'm ok" with a great attitude to try again. With lots of practice you were out there watching and catching waves. It was a blast to watch you ride in on your little octopus with each wave you braved.
 And even you my brave little boy. You may take a little more time to be ready to take an adventure (like your Mama) in your time you are ready to give it a go. And Brayden boy, you too were just awesome catching the waves. Although the ocean did get the best of you a few times, you too brush it off and tried again. I pray you keep that great attitude to not let things get the best of you.
 Keely just couldn't get enough of riding the waves. Even more making sure Mom and Dad were watching your every move and getting more and more brave getting a little further out in the ocean each time you ran out (making Mom a bit more nervous each ride too).
 I just had to get this shot of my little surfer dude. Although we are taking on this life of country living, there is definitely a beach bum in each of us. 
 And this little surfer girl, made for the beach life!
 We were informed that these two are ready for big boards, maybe next summer...
 We were walking by a gas station where a fire truck was filling up one night. Brayden wanted to go give a high five to the firemen. We got to talk to them for a while and they invited us to the fire station and take a tour. Both kids were beside themselves getting to sit in the fire truck and see where the firemen live when they are working.The firemen were just awesome, and by far the true heroes of our country.
 Those fire hats were no joke, very heavy according to these two.
 All equipment is ready to go, these guys have to be fast if they get a call.
 Check out those jackets!
 Almost fits Keely, almost
 Climbing throughout all the trucks at this station was a big highlight. They had one with a driver in the front of the truck and one in the back. This is the one that holds the ladder that can go up to 100 ft!
 Our awesome tour guides!
Thanks to Virginia Beach Fire Station 11 for giving us an amazing tour! If you ask either one of these two, they will now tell you they want to be a fireman/woman when they grow up. 
Our last day we ventured to Cape Henry to see the lighthouse standing near the first landing of the Jamestown settlers. We were pumped to see our first lighthouse and we were quickly disappointed to find out you needed to be at least 42" to go into the lighthouse. Our little ones didn't quite make the cut. 

We had such fun taking a last rendezvous to the beach. So thankful to the Father above for blessing us to live so close to adventures like these.
 All Glory to God in moments of work, moments of rest and moments of fun.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Home Remedies

There has been many changes in our life these past few years as we made our way back east. One of these has also included the many, many tutorials I have received on sustainable living and home remedies. Here is my latest teaching from my great friend Heather, a homemade massage oil equivalent to "Bengay."

What you need:

1 Cup of Arnica Flowers
1 Cup of Comfrey Leaf
1 tsp. of Cayanne Pepper
5-6 Cinnamon Sticks
Olive Oil

Comfrey is an awesome perennial herb that is used externally on the skin to heal bruises, ligaments, pulled muscles and much much more! 

The comfrey plant growing on my porch :)

Pour herbs into a glass quart jar. Pour olive oil over herbs until completely covered. Put a lid on the jar. 

Fill a deep pan with water. Put a towel in the bottom of the pan, so your glass jar will not break when heated. The water level in the pan should be deep enough so that when you put the jar in the pan, the water line will come to the bottom of the lid on your jar. Put the herb jar in the pan and turn the heat on so the water is simmering (do not let it boil). Let simmer for 2-3 hours.
After the oil has cooled, Pour off the herbs by straining through a cheesecloth into a clean jar. 

 There you go!  Nice golden brown cinnamony oil...a herbal infused massage oil!

You can make this oil twice in a row with the same herbs to squeeze every bit of goodness out of the herbs before throwing them into the compost. The used herbs will not be as strong as the first batch and should simmer the oil for about 4 hours the second time around. After you have poured off the infused oil mix both batches. Put a label and write the date you made it and it should last for 3 years!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Zoo Time!

I just LOVE the zoo! I'm not sure what it is but it's one of my favorite things to do. Since we made our move out east our zoo trips have decreased tremendously. I have to admit I've really missed our Albuquerque zoo.  So last weekend after picking the kids up from their weekend camping trip with Nana and Pop Pop we made a side detour to the Virginia Zoological Park in Norfolk. It was hot and humid but after a weekend full of rain we were ever so grateful for the clear skies for our visit!
The statue at the entrance, if you look close it's a cluster of butterflies, so pretty!
 We are ready!
 This tiger had just finished eating and was chewing on her bone when we walked up. Next thing we knew she was walking up to our window...think she was looking for second's???
 My little Orangutans! Yes, that is Brayden trying with all his might to reach :)
 Red Panda! Just walking along the tree right above us...guess these guys don't jump.
 These two were buddies, using the tail as a punching bag.
 Why hello there!
 Going for a Rhino ride!
 Cracking each other up!
 Sometimes we just don't want to take pictures Mom!
 Best part of the zoo...finishing the hot day in the water! SO glad we had our swimsuits with us!