"Enjoy the little things in life ~ one day you'll wake up and realize they were the big things"

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Shampoo musings . . .

I threw out three shampoo bottles today.

Maybe it's just me, but I find it strangely satisfying to throw out an empty bottle.

Three of them at once got me thinking. (I ought to pay more attention to the bottles in the shower!)

In the bigger scheme of life, I want to be the empty bottle ~

used up




~ rather than forgotten, wasted . . . never really utilized, never fully enjoyed.

Things to think on.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Ice Cream Intentions

Three words.  Homemade ice cream! (or is that really only two words?!).  I'll get to that in a minute :-)

We have this really cool thing on a shelf at our house called a "lycra tube".  It's a huge piece of fabric . . . a bright, "busy" floral pattern ~ one I probably wouldn't have chosen personally (but it belongs to the campground).   Either way, the thing is a blast!  A wee bit dangerous, but super fun!.   The kids put four of them in it at once and run really fast, catapulting themselves off of it's 'walls', turning around and doing it again, laughing the whole way, and finally collapsing into a heap on the floor in the middle of it.  It's impossible to photograph, it's even a little hard to watch, for fear that their rapid criss-crossing will result in a head on collision (amazingly it hasn't yet).

A few nights ago, we made homemade ice cream.  One batch in our little nifty Cuisinart automatic ice cream maker and another batch in our very fun "ice cream ball".  We haven't used the ice cream ball in quite a while (probably not since Anna's 5th birthday party when we still had a trampoline for the kids to roll it around on -- well over 2 years ago).  We keep talking about using it.  But, you know how that goes. Talk. "Yes, we should do that sometime". Sincere talk.  But busy days turn into busy weeks and (for me) unless I'm really determined and intentional those things remain just that - talk. Empty words.

So, I went ahead and scheduled it. I wrote it down - right with our weekly menu on the fridge.  Now I was committed.  Several sets of eyes read the words up there and start to anticipate and plan on what's written there.  Suddenly my options for backing out diminish.  My chances of following through grow stronger.  Now there needs to be a better reason than "I'm too tired" to bag the idea altogether.

So we pulled out the ice cream maker and the ice cream ball and made ice cream. Turns out we got a little crazy and decided to try using the ice cream ball AND the lycra tube together!  The kids rolled it around and around inside the lycra tube!   (and at some point in there, I ended up with the ice cream ball while they went crazy in the lycra tube!) Fun time, lots of laughter . . . and very yummy ice cream was enjoyed by all!

(Yes, that handsome young man DOES indeed need a hair cut!)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The moose I missed!

I still can't believe these two were in my FRONT YARD yesterday, a stone's throw from my front door - and I missed them (by about 2 minutes!) . . . I was still in Denver, driving home from the girls' dance class.  Kevin got some great pictures though!

Thursday, September 12, 2013


Fortunately we don't have flooding, but we sure have MUD!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Technical Difficulties . . .

I can't seem to get Picasa Web Albums or Blogger to cooperate with me to update some of the photos in the sidebar . . . I guess we'll call it a work in progress :-)   Grrrr!

1st Day of Enrichment ~ 2013

The youngest four kids are off at their first day of enrichment classes today.  Emily brought two friends home (who are also doing cyber school) to have a "study party" and work on their school work together (they're in different grades, so it's not really 'together' as much as 'simultaneously') . . . and make them french fries, of course!! :-)  Fun day!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

I couldn't do it!

I'm still fighting against the notion of leaving so much undone.  Fighting against choosing to be okay with leaving nearly a year and a half of moments, celebrations, victories & struggles OUT of this blog altogether. It appears I have a choice to make.  I can either: A) leave those weeks and months out ~ maybe indefinitely or B) decide there is just no way to catch up and abandon this poor blog project altogether.

I can't seem to be okay with the latter . . . an important piece of our lives has been missing this past year and a half. Truth be told a LOT of important pieces of our lives have been missing during this past year and a half, pushed aside by the all consuming nature of our strange place and position in life right now. I'm trying, daily, to figure out how to pick up the pieces and make sure the most important ones don't fall away altogether - not an easy task.

As far as our little blog goes. I'm just not willing to abandon the task altogether.  I am so dreadfully far behind on photo albums that this blog is really our only consistent family record ~ and I can't just close the doors on it.  So, in the spirit of Philippians 3:13 (forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead . . . ), I'm going to try to keep things at least a tiny little bit up to date from this point forward.  On your mark, get set, GO!


For those of you who are confused, here's an attempt at the "back story" of the past year and a half.

In May, 2012 we began work camping at Jellystone Park Larkspur.  For the kids and me, it had been our "happy place" throughout the spring, while Kevin applied for jobs all over the country. With each application - our future seemed to teeter a little more on the edge of the great unknown (would a job offer have us moving across town, out of state, out of the country or staying put?)  My little world was feeling the strain of uncertainty.  When we drove down the highway and crossed the railroad tracks onto the campground property, we breathed a collective sigh of relief.  We enjoyed the wide open spaces, the serenity, the goats (who we helped out with when we were able to), and our visits with the staff.  It felt stable and hopeful.

In August (2012), after two months as 'workcampers', God opened the doors for us to assume a long term role at Jellystone.  We moved out of our house and into a small house on the campground property (while juggling new and additional responsibilities at the campground - the combination of the two made for a bit of a crazy time).  During the final week of cleaning out our Castle Rock house, we came home utterly exhausted to find our new (but actually quite old!) house flooded. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be the only time we came home to find water welcoming us =/

Throughout the winter, things settled into a little bit of a routine and we enjoyed living in such a peaceful spot, enjoying our cozy little house, seeing deer out the window, stars above, the kids sledding right out back and being part of planning and dreaming about future plans for the campground.  We've enjoyed a taste of what it would be like to run a family business - that the kids can have an active role in. We are far enough "away" to feel like we live in the country, but close enough that the kids are still involved in the same activities that they were previously.  In many ways, it's a perfect place for this season of life.

In April, roles got shifted around again and both of us ended up working FAR more hours than we had been expecting. Our school year limped to a finish as the camping season ramped up and utter insanity set in. April through August have been quite literally a BLUR. I, personally, worked 55+ hrs/wk for most of the summer as the Activities Director . . . and Kevin worked far more, sometimes only coming home to sleep and eat. Our "summer break" was definitely not much of one.

On the positive side, there were parts that were a fun and memorable adventure for all of us. On the negative side, this has been without question one of the most trying seasons of our entire 20 years together. Schedules have been unpredictable at best (difficult for the 'planner' in me), family time was nearly non-existent from April to August, communication strained, expectations muddy, the demands constant, finances and energy stretched far too thin.  Outside relationships & church involvement have been squeezed out of our schedule almost entirely, adding to a great sense of isolation and sadness (especially for me).  A difficult season no doubt . . . and one we don't want to remain in.

Things have shifted again in recent weeks, school has begun again (ready or not!), my work hours have decreased . . . hope is slowly returning.  Our task at this point is to find ways to better manage the demands that lie ahead of us - in a way that restores order and allows us to prioritize and guard family time once again. Right now we don't have a clear sense of our long term plans, but we think they will involve remaining here for a while.

Got Sprouts?!

Excited to see my first batch of (almost ready) sprouts :-)  Have you considered sprouts lately?  An excellent, fun, and inexpensive source of protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.  Broccoli sprouts contain at least 50 times more antioxidants than mature broccoli!  Immunity building, cancer fighting, enzyme rich ~ and pretty yummy in my opinion!