Monday, June 30, 2008

What we won't do!

Tonight we had leftover tater tot casserole for supper. Tyler wasn't crazy about it the first night we had it, but you just never know with this kid. One day he will like something, the next he won't. So, we had the leftovers and YUMMY strawberries! He refused to eat either of them. I had nothing else in the house of nutritional value to give the child and he was pitching and ever-lovin' fit. Finally I figured out that he wanted my WHOLE strawberries so I let him have a taste. He LOVED it, couldn't get enough of it! Not the bite-sized pieces that I cut up for him! Oh no! He had to have the whole strawberry. So, I thought of a long shot and put the pieces on the whole strawberry. He fell for it and ate them. So, I put bites of the casserole ON the whole strawberry! The child devoured his whole plate of casserole and about 5 whole, HUGE strawberries. Of course, I had the camera handy and took a video to prove it!

How hilarious is that? Gotta love him!

Praise in the Park

Last night we went to the annual Praise in the Park. This was the first year in a year or two that they held it at Island Grove Park during the Greeley Stampede. It was awesome as usual. There's just nothing like tons of Christians praising together. And being outside makes it even better for me. It's hard to really get your mind set on worship with four little ones undertow but it's still worth it. Tyler was ALL OVER the place. I'll bet Keven walked MILES keeping up with him! :)

Hannah lovin' on her brother!


Oh, so cool boy!

A couple of videos of the praisin'!

Dani gettin' her groove on!

Okay, this one is going to take some explanation I'm afraid. Immediately following Praise in the Park was a concert by Poison during the Stampede. Yes, that's right. Poison! How hilarious is that?! You remember Bret Michaels and Poison, don't even pretend you don't! ha ha! Anyway, Island Grove is RIGHT next to the Stampede so we could hear Poison as we were walking to the car. Keven and I were having some major flashbacks of our teen years. And, if you know my husband, most any situation lends itself to silliness! So, when we got in the Suburban he was being so silly with "Every Rose Has It's Thorn"! The girls were cracking up! He agreed to let me get it on video as long as I didn't film him. I couldn't resist, though. He is so funny, I LOVE that about him! Never a dull moment with K-Mo around! Hope you get a kick out of it!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fun Summer Day!

Today was such a fun day! We spent a lot of time outside. About 9:30 this morning, we had a little visitor...

Poor little guy. I thought it was a little strange that he'd be out at 9:30 and wondered if he might be hurt. He just sat there for what seemed like a really long time. Then he got a little scared. Notice his ears pressed back against his head. Well, we called the neighbor boys to come over and look at him. Shortly after that he hightailed it behind a bench, then behind Keven's tomato plants and then IN the tomato plants before sprinting to the side of the house never to be seen again!

Then Hannah, Dani, Tyler and I (Marlie was grounded to her room until lunchtime) spent the rest of the morning outside deadheading & watering my flowers, playing with sidewalk chalk and
driving trucks on the sidewalk!

After lunch and naps we headed outside to play in the sprinklers. I say "we" but I stayed inside and made dinner while watching from the window. We invited Colton and Carson over again and they all had a blast running through the water. It wasn't a SUPER hot day though so they were pretty cold unless they were in the sun! Still, it was a lot of fun and I hung out with them when dinner was in the oven. Tyler even joined in the fun after his LONG afternoon nap. He went in the sprinkler once, decided it was too cold, and went on his way.

Carson, Colton and Dani

Marlie and Hannah too!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Just for you Mom!

And anyone else interested, of course! Tyler has really taken off walking, can nearly sprint, and I just couldn't resist a couple of short videos tonight while we enjoyed the cool of the night!

How 'bout Dani's pretty red tutu?! Aren't they just precious?

We're ba-ack!

We made it back! We got back home last night! Our trip to Pagosa Springs was great! Very relaxing... nice to be able to come and go as we pleased. Good to be home, though, and life didn't stop for us. It was back to playtime, summer reading and the bug mobile at the library today. Luckily Keven took care of all of those things so I could get ALL of us unpacked from going three different places and get things back in order around here.

The kids had a blast. Dani and Tyler were with Granny and spent most of their time outside from what I hear. Marlie and Hannah LOVED being with Aunt Vonnie where they went to the Children's Museum in Pueblo, went swimming, made curtains for their little playroom, made a scrapbook of their time... How fun does that sound?

Friday Keven and I drove to Pagosa Springs and settled into the cabin. You can go here to check out where we stayed if you are interested (there are lots of pictures at the bottom of the site). Then we went to the grocery store to stock up for our meals. We tried out the hot tub which we could never quite figure out so we called it the "warm tub" the whole time we were there! tee hee! We had what looked like a golden retriever decide to visit with us while were were soaking that night.

I got my first digital scrapbooking magazine while at the store! Scrapbooking is a hobby I've always been interested in as it's just right up my alley. But, I've never had the time, space, or wanted to spend the money. For the past year or so, I've been tossing around the idea of doing what I've heard called hybrid scrapbooking which is some digital and some traditional. So, anyway, I was able to at least take the time to check it out while I was away.

Saturday, we drove to Durango and did the tourist thing. We bought all of the kids t-shirts and ate lunch at Poppy's, a fave sandwich/salad place of the locals. Keven barbecued steaks that night which were scrumptious!

Sunday, we were going to go to a Calvary Chapel in Durango but discovered it would be an hour plus drive on way the day before. So, we slept in and just hung out at the cabin and watched Charles Stanley and Les Feldick on TV. Both were awesome sermons that I'm super glad I didn't miss! God knows what he's doing! Anyway, we packed a lunch and headed out to do some hiking! Here's a short video that I took while we were on our way. It was just breathtaking and we couldn't resist pulling over to take it all in.

First we hiked to Piedra Falls. It was about a mile hike to the falls and was AMAZING! Here's some video of the rushing river on the way to the falls and the falls! The video just DOES NOT do it justice! We stopped and ate lunch here while getting sprayed by the waters. Was phenomenal!

Reminded us of the Scriptures that speak of God and his voice being as the rushing waters. It was almost deafening!

2 and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory. Ezekiel 43:2

15His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. Revelation 1:15

After our hike to Piedra Falls, we drove to another hike to the Ice Caves. These structures are amazing! They are giant deep cracks in the mountain. They appear out of nowhere with no sign that they are coming up. Deep in them are ice deposits that are there most of the year. Once again, pictures just don't do it justice!

Monday we decided to spend out last day there on another hike! We took off to hike up to the Continental Divide. We were supposed to drive 3 miles off the beaten path to the trailhead and then 1/4 mile to the Divide. But, when we got to the road it was closed. We later found out it was likely because there was snow on the road. We decided to just hike the road to the trailhead. It was in the mid 60's and beautiful! You would've never known by what our bodies felt that there was snow on the ground. What a steep hike! It kicked our rears! About 2/3 of the way up we encountered the snow! There was still tons of it on the ground and we hiked through the stuff! But, it still wasn't cold! We get to the top, finally! It was awesome. Then... while we were up there, thunderheads rolled in on all sides and the temperature dropped! It was freezing and here we were in our shorts and short-sleeved shirts! Brrrrr! But, we giggled and laughed as I fell in the snow, had soaked shoes and socks, and generally froze my tail off. (oh, how I wish that were true!)

Being in the mountains always reminds me of the awesomeness of our God. His creation is incredible. It's hard to remember that on the great plains in the midst of daily life with four children. But, it was so nice to be in it and have the time to reflect upon it!

2 Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90:2

And, this just wouldn't be a proper post without what? A slideshow? I thought you'd never ask!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

We're off!

Well, Keven and I will be off to Pagosa Springs tomorrow! My mother-in-law was here Tuesday and yesterday. She is such a sweetheart. She came to help with the kids while I was at the funeral and Hannah's recital. Then she took Dani and Tyler home with her yesterday afternoon until next Tuesday! Ah! I can't hardly stand it. I miss my babies already! I'm keeping myself busy trying not to think about it!

After packing the rest of us up, we are going to make the 3 1/2 hour trip to Keven's sister's house to spend the night and drop off Marlie and Hannah until Tuesday! Then tomorrow it's off to our cabin in the mountains (with a hot tub I MUST add!). Pray for us as you think about us, would you? Pray for a sweet, relaxing time with my hubby. A time of rediscovery. I feel we've gotten a little lost in 9 years of marriage and 4 kids 8 and under. Not in a hugely bad way or anything. We just tend to forget about US in the midst of all the chaos that is our lives, ya know? I'm sure you can sympathize with how that could happen. Also pray that I won't be overcome with missing my kids. Or, if I do, that I will be able to get out of it and enjoy myself and my man!

So, now I'm off to the monumental task of packing. It will be easier with two kids already packed, though. I'll try to take lots of pictures. But mostly, I will make good use of that hot tub! I can't even remember the last time I took a long, relaxing bath. I seriously think it's been YEARS!

Until then...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

He's home!

I went to a wonderful funeral today. My friend Susie, from my Bible study, her husband died Saturday! Ted was his name. Today I went to a celebration of his life that was amazing. The church was jam packed. What a testimony to this man's life. I never even met him! But, I've talked to a few people that knew him and he was quite the man. And Susie? She looked beautiful, even glowing. While I know she is grieving you could also tell that she is rejoicing that her husband is in the presence of his Savior!

You are probably hearing a new song I posted... I think it speaks wonderfully to what we have to look forward to, IF we know Jesus. Hope none of you think I am too narrow minded but it was Jesus himself who said:

13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

Hope you enjoy the song!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tapping... er um... Singin' in the Rain!

Hannah had her dance recital rehearsal this afternoon! Videos are allowed during rehearsal but not during the recital so... Too cute!

Isn't she a cutie-patootie?! Oh, to have those lashes!

And, doesn't she look THRILLED to be taking a picture with her mother?! :)

Did I mention how proud I am of her? She is the youngest of the three that are in the dance. Both of the other girls are going to be in fourth grade. For an incoming first-grader, my girl keeps up pretty good!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

What a fun weekend!

Another fun and busy weekend! Friday we watched two of our neighbor boys, Nicholas and Xavier! We had such a great time with them. We played in the backyard all morning with the OTHER neighbor boys, Colton and Carson too! Then we ate lunch and right in the middle of lunch we heard the crop-dusting helicopter across the street again. So, we hightailed it outside without shoes or anything! Our neighbor Julie and her cutie-pants twins, Elly and Lily, came out and watched. Then we went and got Tara (another neighbor) and her boys (the same ones who played with us earlier in the day) to enjoy the show. We had a party right in the neighbors' backyard while they weren't even home! We moms kept joking that it was great, cheap entertainment. A free air show and pet show. The OTHER neighbor came over with her little "buppy" as the twins call it! That afternoon, the kids and I watched Enchanted. It was a fun day!

Saturday was filled with a trip to town to Target to get a wedding gift together. Then it was off to an evening wedding! The sweetest young couple at our church was married. Poor Tyler was a good boy RIGHT UP to the time that our pastor settled himself up front for the wedding party to start in. Then he fell and bonked his head on the chair in front of us. Oh my! I would've exited promptly but no exit was available. The one had all of the attendants behind it and the other had the bride. I did manage to keep him from SCREAMING but... Remind me to get a babysitter for the next wedding. But, it was a sweet celebration. The groom prayed over his new wife quietly after they shared in the Lord's supper together. How sweet is that!?

So we came home and today was pretty uneventful. Keven had to be gone all day to work so we couldn't really do much for him for Father's Day!

The next few days will be packed with doctor appointments, tap rehearsal and recital, a funeral, playtime, Summer Reading fun, and packing for a 5 day trip with JUST my hubby. I am so excited!

Carson, Elly, and Dani ready for the next appearance of the helicopter.

Nicholas waiting patiently for the return of the helicopter!

Marlie and Xavier watching the movie!

Nicholas and Dani!

Xavier fell asleep on my couch during the movie and stayed there for nearly two hours! What a sweetie!

I know I am such a nerd but these helicopters are so cool! He actually stopped in front of us, facing us, and flew sideways really slow as if waving goodbye to us! That was the highlight for us mommies for sure (other than watching the sheer excitement from the kids!).

On that note, VIDEOS! Yeah!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Have your tissue handy!

A friend of mine had this video on her blog. I am speechless!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm no activist, but...

I DO think we have a sizable issue in this country. We all know that gas prices are through the roof. And we all also know that this country is quite dependent on foreign oil. The link to the right goes to a site where you can sign a petition asking Congress to open up more domestic drilling. Obviously we will eventually run out of oil but the technology to use alternate fuel sources simply isn't ready. Domestic drilling and production would ease the cost of oil while we develop these technologies. Taxing "windfall profits" like many politicians want to do will only drive the costs higher because oil companies will find it harder to compete with OPEC. The industrial revolution in India and China are the primary reason for the current oil prices, not the 5-10% profit margin of companies like Exxon-Mobil. And for all of you concerned about the effects of domestic drilling on our environment... responsible companies are already practicing safe, zero-spill drilling practices. While bringing in an oil rig and producing the well does disturb wildlife minimally... once the network is in place, wildlife returns unhindered.

Granted, more domestic drilling means job security for my family personally. But the issue is much larger. And, while you should research the facts for yourself, Keven is not a corporate oil man. He is not making millions of dollars if we drill here in the US. We still pay $4+ for gas to run our vehicles just like everyone else. But, he does know more than the average guy about what it means to drill here. Job security, lower oil and gas prices, minimal environmental impact and less dependence on Islamic terrorist countries. Sounds like a win-win to me!

For those of you Colorado residents, our Governor Bill Ritter (with environmentalists whispering in his ear), is doing everything in his power to slow the drilling here in Colorado. Meanwhile, last year one of the five major oil companies pumped over 66 million dollars into Weld County's economy ALONE! Tourism will not generate those kinds of jobs and economic growth. And two of the biggest opponents to his ideas are landowners here in Weld County who each have 2-3 rigs drilling on their land year-round. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it! That's information you won't hear from those opposed to domestic drilling.

Now, with that said. All of this depends on what the Lord would have for us, of course. But, I don't think it pleases Him for us to sit back idly and let our economy suffer while we throw our hands up as if there is nothing we can do.

Okay, I'm climbing off of my soapbox now! Thanks, Keven, for all of the insightful information. Never knew a roughneck could be so smart, did ya?! ;)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Busy but fun day!

Wow, today was one of those days! It was the first day of VBS at our church. I got a small taste of what it will be like in the fall to drive 20+ minutes one way to take the girls to school. Should be interesting. But, I also got a nibble of the experience of some time alone with my two littlest ones. I think I will enjoy it tremendously! The girls LOVED VBS by the way!

I did a bunch of little piddly things around here after lunch but time got away with me so bad that I FORGOT to take Hannah to her LAST tap class before her recital next week. What kind of mother does that? Sheesh! But I did manage to "remember" in time to go to the studio and apologize to her teacher. And, she did get to practice her routine once in her crocs! Too funny! You want to know what's even funnier?! I was sharing with my neighbor earlier this afternoon that sometimes I have to set my timer so that I don't forget things. Then I said that I should probably do that so I wouldn't forget to take Hannah to tap! Well, you know the rest of the story!

Here's a picture of Tyler playing with his Daddy at lunch time. What a handsome couple of boys!

Don't ask me!? I surely don't know what was going on here!

A fun snack outside while Daddy barbecued!

And, finally... a video of Tyler and Dani having a splash-fest in the tub tonight. What a mess was made! But, oh, what fun!

Tomorrow will be another busy day but hopefully there will be some more really fun moments to capture. Hope I don't forget to take Marlie to piano lessons! I'll let you know! ;)

One of my fave things...

While I wouldn't necessarily say that I have a green thumb, or that I know much of anything about them, I do love flowers. I love the way they add life to a yard. Every year I plant annuals in my antique sinks out front and in some pots in the backyard. And, for the last two springs, I have added perennials to the mulch area in the front yard. My goal is to have that area nearly full of different perennial flowers. Anyway, I just wanted to share some pictures of my beautiful flowers.

Ain't they perty? ;)

ANOTHER Birthday Party!

It seems this spring has been full of birthday parties. Saturday we went to Fort Collins for cousin Kylie's first birthday! It was a blast and I thought I would share a few pictures from the day.

The birthday girl. SO SERIOUS!

Mmmmm.... yummy cupcake!

Uncle Keven and the kids!

Plum tuckered out!

Raising Cinderella and Prince Charming

Every month, I get a magazine from Proverbs 31 Ministries called P31 Woman. In the April 2008 issue there was this article/story by Teresa Cocke and it floored me. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!

Raising Cinderella and Prince Charming
by Teresa Cocke

"Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord. Lift you hands toward Him for the life of your young children." Lamentations 2:19 (NIV)

I couldn't find him. He didn't come when I called. And I was in a hurry. Where was my sweet obedient third child? I began to walk back through the house ... again. I rounded the corner to the den and there he stood, very still, looking up at the wall. This particular wall is home to our families' wedding portraits. And there stood Jake, gazing up as if he had never noticed their presence.

As I took up Sergeant Mommy position, hands on hops, stern look, poised to launch into the "You-are-supposed-to-come-the-first-time-Mommy-calls" lecture, he turned to me with the most serious 3-year-old look. "Mommy! You were Cinderella?!" he said in total surprise. So much for the lecture. I went from Sergeant Mommy to silly putty in ten seconds flat. It was a classic Hallmark moment.

Obviously he had never seen Mommy in a long white wedding gown, and it had captured his attention. As I knelt down to take him in my arms and explain that I as Daddy's bride and not really Cinderella, someone else's attention had been captured ... mine. At that moment time stood still and the Holy Spirit allowed me a glimpse at the future.

One day, not so very far away, Jake will once again be standing very still with his gaze fixed toward a closed door. The door will open, and his own Cinderella will appear. A vision in white with a sweet smile and gentle eyes. Eyes meant only for him. As I desperately fought the onslaught of tears my heart cried out to the Lord, "Please bless him with a godly wife! A wife that loves You more than him!" Then a profound truth took up residence in my heart. Chester and I were not just raising two daughters and a son; we were raising two wives and a husband.

God has entrusted us with the task of raising these three children to become godly spouses. It is our responsibility, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, not only to teach them God's Word, but also to model a Christian marriage for them. I know we are not supposed to sweat the small stuff, but Jake needs to learn to open the door for ladies and to offer his seat to women who enter the room. The girls need to learn to encourage and compliment their husbands, and they all need to learn how to do laundry and cook!

I have a sister in Christ somewhere who is counting on me to teach her future son-in-law or daughter-in-law to love the Lord will all their hearts. And I am counting on a sister in Christ to do the same thing!

Powerful huh? Oh, and uh, NO PRESSURE! tee hee!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Am I BIG now?

No Dani, you can't go to VBS, you're not big enough. Nope, can't go to dance class yet, you're not big enough. Sorry, no art club, not quite big enough! What a day for my Dani Jo! She has been waiting as long as she can remember, since she was really aware, to be "big enough". Today was that day! FINALLY! I signed her up for a playtime/movement class with other kids her age from our town. After warming up a bit, she had an absolute BLAST! They did an obstacle course, raced with HUGE balls, did foot races, bear crawls, played with a big parachute (I think that's what they are called)... too fun! Unfortunately she had to share her first "big enough" with her three siblings as Keven was working but... it was actually good. I think she appreciated her security blanket of big sisters on her first day! Next week Keven will be home and it'll just be the two of us! I can't wait!

I know, I know... SURPRISE! A slide show of her morning!

I'm just full of surprises! A video too?! Oh, I just crack myself up!

What a Daddy!

If you've never heard of or seen Team Hoyt, please take the time to watch this video!

A little background... Rick, the son, was handicapped at birth. In time his parents discovered Rick's love of sports and, what began as a request for a 5 mile run to benefit another, has become what you see here. You can read more about them on their website. As you watch, think about our heavenly Abba Father, our Daddy!

This is an awesome reminder that in the race of life, we are not alone. We are much like Rick. Helpless and dependent on our Father. We must trust in Him to run alongside us, carry us and take us through life. There is one big difference. Dick Hoyt must rest and recharge in order to continue his races with his son. Our Father never sleeps and needs no rest. We are truly never alone! Thank you God!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My baby is becoming a little boy!

I have to say that I am baffled by boys! I know everyone says they are easier but this child sure keeps me hoppin'! He thinks it is great fun to throw things in the trash, dig IN the trash, pull things OUT of the trash, and push the trash can around the kitchen floor. Do we have aspirations of being a future trash man (excuse me... garbage collector... is that more p.c.? tee hee!)? If memory serves me correctly, I believe his daddy had the same high hopes as a little boy! My sweet, precious little man also receives great enjoyment from pulling disposable bowls out of a bottom kitchen drawer and replacing them in the bottom drawer of my oven or in another cabinet (the ONLY one in the kitchen without a child safety lock!). Who needs toys?

I just have to share a couple videos of him walking! He is getting quite fast and is ALL OVER the place.

Notice Dani in the background. The girl does not have a quiet bone in her body whether she's happy, sad or anywhere in between. She's relentless too! ;)

I feel like a terrible mother even posting this video, but I didn't realize until I was well into it that Tyler wasn't just mad but actually so upset that he wasn't breathing while crying. You know the kind of cry I am talking about!? But, it really shows how well he's walking so I'm going to anyway! At the end I THOUGHT he hit his head on his little rocking chair but luckily narrowly missed it. Can you say, temper, temper!?

And finally, Tyler "talking". He cracks me up! I think he is just sure he's really saying something quite important most of the time. If I look as if I am really carrying on a conversation with him, he'll go on and on... His new favorite thing is to yell "Mama!" to which I respond "Tyler!" or "What?!". Then we do the same thing over and over again. It's a vicious, extremely fun cycle that you get a small glimpse of in this video! And, oh my girls! Life would be so boring without them!

A rare but fun ride!

We went to our friends' house in Akron on Saturday for a birthday bash/bbq. We had a great time of fellowship with old friends from our former church. One of the highlights for the kids was riding a horse! They love to ride horses but it is a rare treat!

I just had to focus in on this face of Dani's from the first picture! How cute is she and SO excited!

Best of buds!

Wannabe cowgirl!

Monday, June 2, 2008

What a day that will be!

Many of you may have already seen this video but it really is powerful and worth watching again. My wonderful brother and sister-in-law from Virginia sent this to us in an email today. Brings tears to my eyes and gives me chills! I don't know of course, but sure seems "around the corner"!

Makes you really thankful, huh?