Wednesday, December 31, 2008

100 Things I Did This Year

While this post is titled 100 Things I Did This Year...I couldn't actually come up with 100. So, I will do the best I can to get as high as I can and you guys can add more if you have anything that I've missed...which I'm sure I do!

This has been a big year. We have been to the bottom of caverns (hundreds of feet underground) to the tops of mountains. It's been a wild ride and I've enjoyed every moment of it.

These are in no particular order.

Here goes...

1.Read the Bible in it's entirety!!
2.Went down the zip line.
3. Spoke at MOPS.
4. Took my sister to MOPS to learn about birth order.
5. Spoke at the women's retreat.
6. Went to the women's retreat with my MIL and fun!
7. Was a single mom for a month.
8. Spent 16 hours in the car with three kids, my MIL and a cat...waaaayyy fun!! NOT!!
9. Moved to Colorado.
10. Went on the sky ride at the North Pole.
11. Year 3 at family camp.
12. Visited the Rocky Mountains.
13. Got braces.
14. Got my braces off.
15. Met my new nephew Camden.
16. Got the glasses that I've needed for 10 years!
17. Lost a friend to suicide.
18. Laughed so hard I cried.
19. Saw Hannah Montana live in the front row at the rodeo with our friends Steph, KK and Steph's sister.
20. Visited the Battleship at San Jacinto.
21. Visited the San Jacinto Monument.
22. Bought my first brand new car in 10 years.
23. Celebrated my 10 year anniversary!! Yay us!
24. Sold a house on our own in less than a week.
25. Went to San Antonio for James' 5th birthday.
26. Visited the Natural Caverns.
27. Went to Sea World.
28. Had my butt beat in an obstacle course at Pump It Up by my 8 year old!
29. Ate an amazing dinner at the Melting Pot with the Hornes and the Knowles...yummy!!
30. Watched my 5 year old graduate from preschool.
31. Let Jagger go on a 4 day trip with James to the grandparent's country home.
32. Enjoyed my boys being gone.
33. Brought James to his 1st day of Kindergarten.
34. Helped put together VBS with SBC.
35. Taught art at VBS and loved it!!
36. Left our three kids with a babysitter while Jim and I flew to Denver.
37. Bought a new house.
38. Got a new dog.
39. Went to an Astros vs Rockies game at Coors Field.
40. Became a Broncos fan!!
41. Visited Tiny Town in Morrison, CO.
42. Went sliding in Winter Park.
43. Skated in Flat Irons.
44. Skated in Boulder.
45. Started writing a column...who would have predicted this one??!!
46. Went through a corn maze in Anderson Farms.
47. Played in the snow.
48. Made a snow angel.
49. Ate HUGE cookies in Estes Park.
50. Ate a chocolate covered banana in Estes Park.
51. Started a new Bunco group.
52. Made new friends.
53. Cried for my old friends.
54. Had an awesome girls and kids Mother's Day weekend at Crier Creek.
55. Spent a whole day at the spa in Denver with both SILs and my MIL.
56. Celebrated many milestones of my sister's pregnancy with her.
57. Wept with joy for the birth of my niece Michayla.
58. Celebrated with the unexpected and very happy news of my niece becoming pregnant.
59. Laughed at my sister because she will be a GRANDMA soon!
60. Used a hotel Bible in San Antonio because I forgot mine and didn't want to fall behind in my readings.
61. Woke up and read a week's worth of Bible readings on the bathroom floor in a hotel in Aurora on our move to Colorado.
62, Really started to love blogging.
63. Read at least 50 books.
64. Played speed scrabble for the first time and became addicted.
65. Had the best Christmas EVER!
66. Painted my house.
67. Painted Jen's house.
68. Painted Hilde's house.
69. Got paid for painting a cat mural on a child's wall.
70. Worked at Krisher McKay (a real estate office).
71. Cleaned houses with my two best friends for money.
72. Made smores in the microwave...that could be addictive!
73. Fell in love with our neighbors and their families.
74. Met two blogging friends.
75. Started my own small group and made wonderful friends.
76. ......

I'm out of ideas! And I know there is more.

The point of this I had one thing that I wanted to achieve this year. I wanted to read the Bible. And I did. I did not plan the majority of the things on my list and if someone had told me that I'd be living in Colorado by the end of the year..I would have laughed at them. Life has a way of happening though, whether we plan for it or not...we just have to choose to embrace it.

Here is a quote that I have carried around in my wallet since college written by Hafiz of Persia:
"One regret dear world, that I am determined not to have while I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough."

Being the organized planner that I am, it can be hard to deviate from the plan. I have though. And I will. And I am learning to love those moments just as much as the planned ones...sometimes much more!

Happy New Year's Eve!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Finished the Bible

I just finished the entire Bible. Right now. 9:30pm on December 30th. Which means I can say I read the Bible in LESS than a year since I finished a day early!!

I was surprised at the lack of celebration. No angel trumpets. No standing ovations. Nobody did the wave. Very anti-climatic!

On a serious note...what an awesome journey!

Master Bathroom

Of course, my room is the last to be done (well, not counting the playroom which has just been turned into Kaylee's room...). We did the master bath today. My walls are huge in my room though so that might take a while to get done...

Like mother, like daughter...

Kaylee took this very unflattering shot but thought it should be included in here. Yay!

Here is the finished product.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Country Christmas

Enjoy the video.

Christmas Morning

We didn't take very many pictures this morning. It was more of an afterthought. We decided to just enjoy. The kids were so excited to give us gifts that they had bought at the Santa Shop at school that our hands were very full.

I have to say...I was absolutely spoiled this year. I think it was my favorite Christmas ever! My honey went to a specialty shop and bought me my favorite candy bar from Canada. I cried! I got a lot of gifts...but the candy bar really touched me. Thanks babe!

Here are my new shoes...

Jimmy's incredibly sexy foot in his new slippers. I think we had feet on our mind this year!

Kaylee's mess...

James' mess, including that tv for his room.....

Jagger and my mess....

Kaylee playing her DS while it was plugged in (in her new outfit from Nanny and Papa).

Kaylee came upstairs in this outfit. She may not wear bows and boutique clothes like I want her to..but oh my I do love her funky sense of style....

Jagger with his new DS (and another outfit from Nanny and Papa).

And that's all for Christmas morning! Now it's time to play with our new stuff!

Christmas Eve

Here are all of the kiddos dressed up for Christmas Eve service at Harvest Fellowship. They were so beautiful and church was lovely!

I know this picture is kind of blurry but there has to be a jammie shot on Christmas eve!

Cookies (macaroons, Santa's favorite), coke (Santa gets tired of milk!) and a carrot for Rudolph. Who wouldn't want to stop at our house?!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bad Boys...I Love 'Em!

This entry is going to look so out of place backed up against the New Testament post.

I have a confession (some of you already know). I love thuggy men. Shaved head. Goatee. Tattoos. Lots of tattoos. Thuggy!
My husband...not a thug. Not even one tattoo.

However, his work clothes make him look like he was just released, or entering (choose whichever fantasy you want) a high-security prison.

Me...I'm wondering if he could dress like this and stay home?!!
Here are my three teddy bears looking particularly thuggy...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Testament

The children seem to get up at the same time no matter what time I put them to bed. So, who cares if it's Christmas Break...if I still have to wake up at 7 then they are still going to bed at 8!!

The great thing is that this still leaves me with a bit of "Me Time" at the end of the day. So, I'm here to share my thoughts again.

Actually, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I'm coming up on the end of reading the Bible in a year. I haven't made many comments lately. Honestly, I felt like I knew the first four books of the New Testament so well that it was kind of redundant. I'm not sorry I read it though! I think that I took this on as more of a learning experiment, a chance to get closer and learn more about the God that I love and His Son that was sent to save me. I didn't realize how well I knew the gospels. So, with no meanness intended, I didn't enjoy reading the first four books as much as I thought I would.

I have loved reading the New Testament though. It paints a very precise picture of how I am supposed to live my life as a Christian. It is very specific on how to treat others and how I can be the best child of God that I so long to be.

I have been amazed by how much of the New Testament that Paul wrote. I didn't realize he was such a prominent figure.

I still have questions about why we take somethings literal and not others. Paul says that a woman should pray with her head covered in 1 Corinthians 11:5-6. In some religions women do cover up from just their heads to their entire bodies with just their eyes showing. When we were in Russia it was customary for women to wear a head covering to enter the Orthodox Catholic Church. So, do we not do it because it's not politically correct? We say that everything in the Bible is God-breathed. Paul also says that if one man believes that a food is unclean then to that man the food is unclean even though it might not be for his friend. So, I'm guessing there is some leeway. I still find statements such as those confusing.

I have enjoyed the letters to the churches so much that I have even gotten my highlighter out the last few nights (and have done so a few times throughout the NT). Here are some that I found and highlighted.

1 Cor 15:33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Cor 16:13-14 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.

2 Cor 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (Isn't that beautiful way to end a letter?!)

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Hebrews 13:6 ..."The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (This has been another verse to repeat to myself when I am having my nightmares.)

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

One of my very favorite passages of all times is in the New Testament. It is Matthew 6:25-34:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Tomorrow I will read 2 Peter and by Christmas Day I will be starting Revelations and end the year from there. I have truly enjoyed the experience....some chapters much more than others! I have decided that I will follow this up by doing Daily Devotions throughout next year.

Did it change my life? Well, my life did change dramatically this year!! Do I think there is a correlation...absolutely! On New Year's Eve I will post a list of 100 things that I did this looking for that. I'm sure there will be Christmas postings between now and then.

Thank you so much for allowing me to share this journey with you. And thank you to those that have been praying for me. It is an experience that I think that every one of you should try...and I'ld love to hear about it if you do!

In Him,

Friday, December 19, 2008

Cookies, Cookies and more Cookies!!

Another Christmas tradition....

Every year we make cookies for our neighbors. Today was the first official day of Christmas Break and what better way to spend it than baking cookies and getting ready for the holidays! This year was a little sad because we are missing our old neighbors. It's also exciting because we get to make cookies for our new neighbors for the first time.

The kids were a bigger help this year than ever before. We made six different kinds of cookies; texas cowchips, macaroons, peanut butter marshmallow goo, ultimate chocolate chip, peanut butter chocolate chunk and chocoholic cookies. All three helped make the first three kinds. After that they went upstairs to play "camp" and the last three they came down one at a time to help. They loved helping...and tasting! There was a lot of batter-tasting and finger-licking going on in the kitchen today!!

Even Moose jumped up and grabbed a cookie from the counter! Bad Dog! I wish I could have grabbed my camera fast enough. It was actually kind of cute.

All the kids love using the it was Kaylee's turn.

Check out my James whisking those eggs!

Jagger is only smiling because every time I turned around he was stealing a chocolate chip from the batter...stinker!

Obviously we don't dress up for this occasion...but look how proud they are of themselves. Such good little elves I have!

Check out all of the cookies...doesn't it make you want to move next door??

Thursday, December 18, 2008

One thing that has changed in Colorado...

I'm not nearly as excited to go out and get the mail as I used to be....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Real Santa and Reindeer

My Kaylee does not believe in Santa Claus anymore. I'm okay with that but since she got to believe for 8 years I've asked her not to ruin it for her brothers. She has been doing really well, but every once in a while she sneaks a little comment in.

The other night at dinner Kaylee says "I think that instead of milk Santa might like us to leave him some Diet Coke with his cookies." She smirks at me.

I say back "and maybe instead of leaving the reindeer some carrots they might like some dog treats!"

Well, Kaylee, Jim and I were on the floor laughing with tears coming out of our eyes. It was so funny and such a fun conversation with our Kaylee.

James is laughing because everyone else is and he says "or maybe the reindeer might like some apples..hahahaha!" He totally didn't get the joke because he's still a believer but oh my goodness...he certainly contributed to the laughter.

What a fun dinner that was!

.....I guess if you don't get it you should know that Jimmy drinks Diet Coke religiously and we have a dog that would love the treats! Or maybe you had to be there to see the humor....

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cleaning Brain or Devine Christian Preschool??

Today was cleaning day. And when I clean...I think. I have some of best ideas when I've got my hand scrubbing away in the toilet!

So today's idea??

Well, it's something that has been rattling around in my brain for a while but it started to come together a bit better while scrubbing. Actually, Karen put the seed in my head right before I left Texas.

I'm not pleased with the preschools in Brighton. Either the hours stink or the cost is ridiculous. I want my child to go for the socialization but seriously, I'ld have to work to pay some of the costs here! The problem is that I can't work because James only goes to half day kindergarten (don't even get me started on how I feel about that!). I was paying $136/month for Jagger to go to school for 6 hours per week. In Texas I paid $200 month for him to go to school 20 hours a week. In Texas he also went from 9-2 so that if I wanted to hold a part-time job or get some errands done I could; here it was 8-11 and James is the time I got done driving around I was lucky to get an hour and a half to myself. Crazy! the solution?

Open my own school!

I've subbed. I've taught. I'm raising three kids. I'm super organized. I know what I want my kids to learn before going to kindergarten. I know how important it is to me to have my children in a christian-based preschool. I love art, fun and messes. I learned a lot from Day School for Little People in Texas and I know Karen (my boss at DSFLP) would help me out with ideas, rules and regulations.

I can do this.

I could do it at home. Get a license and convert my basement into a school; in which case I would only do a 4 year old class and I would hire someone to work with me.

Or...I could find a church to allow me to use their facilities and run it in the preschool department like we did in Texas.

This could be awesome.

Or maybe just another cleaning idea gone bad??

What do you think?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Knittin' Mama

My mom has recently begun knitting again with the birth of her new granddaughter. Now, she has moved on to making hats for everyone. She is so talented! Well, since I live so far away from her (she is in Canada) I only get to see the hats by pictures. I'm sure I will never see another one after she sees this picture on my blog. However, it is only fair that all family members are equally embarrassed on the blog....

I could be persuaded to take this picture off with the gift of a knitted sweater for me (not for my kids and not with TWO shoulders on one side!!). xo

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Church Home in Brighton??

Okay...we need help Brighton. We are looking for a church home. We have tried 2 churches so far. We loved Northern Hills but it is already running like a fine-oiled machine and we have a hard time believing that we could really serve well there. We also tried Harvest Fellowship and liked it but it has cramped quarters and not much "play" room for the children until they get into their new facility (I'm not sure of the projected date). However, we do feel that we could potentially be used at Harvest. We are still searching though and could really use your help.

A few requirements....

1. Must be a Christian church. It can be non-denominational. We believe in the Holy Trinity and that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. We believe that the only way to heaven is through the Son.

2. Must have childcare and youth groups. We were invited to the church at the Charter School but they only offer childcare for 4 and under. We have an active, chitter-chatter of a 5 year old that canNOT sit through a service. We also believe that our children get more when they are learning on their level and we learn more when we can fully concentrate in our service.

3. Must be in Brighton or within 15 minutes of our home in Brighton. We want to serve and to serve often. We can't serve efficiently if we have to drive to Denver to get there.

4. We LOVE home groups, ABFs, small groups...whatever you call them at your church. Another reason we want the church to be close is so when we join a home group we will be meeting with families that live in our community and may possibly have children going to the same school as ours.

Okay Brighton, we are ready for your suggestions. Do you have the best church and want us to come and try it out? You can post your comments on here or you can email me at

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Check Out That Smile

My oldest sister (hahaha-I didn't mean that meanly!! haha) had something great happen to her yesterday also. She got her braces off after wearing them twice as long as me!! She was such a good sport when I got mine off first. I have to say though....doesn't she have the most beautiful smile?!! Yay for Jen!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My New Niece

My sister Catherine and her husband Michael had their first little bundle of joy today. Michayla Catherine entered the world early this afternoon after a long arduous journey. This little girl is a miracle after years of trying, months of waiting and hours and hours of labor. Michayla was born at a healthy 7lbs and 14oz and with the most adorable little face I've ever seen. We are so blessed and elated to welcome her to our family.

Heavenly Father,
I am constantly amazed at your greatness! I am so thankful for this beautiful little girl that you created just for Catherine and Michael. I pray that you will watch over them as parents and guide them as they raise their little girl. I ask that you watch over Michayla; keep her healthy and strong and be with her as she grows up to be just who you made her to be. Hold this new little family unit close in your arms and let them feel your love for them in all that they see and do. Thank you so much for the gift of Michayla Catherine.
In your glorious and holy name,

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Kissing Wars

My youngest son HATES kisses! He gives the absolute best hugs; wraps his arms around your neck as tight as he can and squeezes all of his love into you. Then, he keeps his head turned and backs away quickly so that he can get away without you kissing him. If you ask for a kiss, he will say "I give you a hug. But no kisses okay?" and then you have to proceed to promise him so that you can be rewarded with his affection.

This all started about three months ago. He just stopped kissing. I would ask for a kiss and he would put his hand over my mouth and then kiss his hand. At one point I asked him to give me a goodnight kiss and he told me to go across the room. When I did, he blew me a kiss. That crazy boy!! I have to admit, at times like this I hold him down and tell him that mommies have little boys so that they can kiss them and I proceed to kiss him all over his face while he shrieks and giggles and tries to get away. Happy moments!!

And it's not just me! Thank goodness or I would have a serious kissing complex by now. When Jimmy's whole family was here he did it to all of them as well. They will testify to the fact that he is the anti-kisser! It's quite sad.

So, at this point Jimmy and I are not against bribery. Jimmy has gone as far as to bribe him with a mocha frappaccino...crazy nuts!! Well, tonight I thought it would be fun to make a game of it and tell him that if he kissed me then I would take a picture and we would put it on the computer. He was all for it until it came time, then it took some coaxing. And it was even worse for him because there is a delay on my camera so it took a few shots before we actually captured "the kiss." HAHAHAHA!! I ate up every moment of it. moved to fast, we'll have to try again.....

Nice kiss, but not a good picture. We'll have to do it again.....

Nope, that isn't a real kiss. Try again.....

Okay, this one is acceptable. Yummy kisses!! Fun game!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Absolute Randomness

I should be cleaning my house right now but that's incredibly boring! Instead I am going to embark you on a journey through my camera. You see, I have a 9 year old who thinks that picking up my camera and taking pictures of totally random things is fun. She never tells me about it and I find all of these weird pics when I go looking. It is almost time for me to empty my camera of its 300 pictures and start from 0 again so I wanted to do it before this load is all gone. Maybe this will be a tradition every time I have to put all the pics on CD. Here is some absolute randomness for your Monday...

Okay, this one is kind of cool...

I am thinking that if Santa wants to bring Kaylee her own camera (it would have to be digital because I am NOT paying to have all of these printed!) that it might be a wonderful idea!!