Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bear Spray

Last night, I heard Landon calling me ...
"Mom, I'm so sorry!  I didn't mean to!"

I ran upstairs to my bedroom.
My nose felt funny.  My chest tightened.
What was going on?
A mustard colored "paint" was running down my wall.
"What is that?" I asked Landon.

He had no idea what he had done ... but he knew it wasn't good.
I couldn't figure out what it was, but I couldn't breathe.
He said he sprayed a little black bottle.
What ???

When he brought it to me ... I couldn't believe it.
Bear spray!
It quickly filled the air.
The entire upstairs ... and it was moving downstairs.

At the CC Essentials meeting last night, it was good to hear the he was not the first.
Both Andie and LaDonna had stories of bear spray that were much worse than mine.
Nevertheless, it's a day I won't quickly forget.

Monday, January 26, 2015


I have never been very good at waiting.
This time is no different.

The timeline on this property has been quite long.

August - September - Steve and I had the initial idea of looking for property in Evergreen

Late September ... We first saw the property online

October 6 - Our first showing
     After researching the details of the property, and finding the right realtor ...

November 3 - We made our first offer
    After counter offer, negotiations, another counter offer, and more negotiations ...

December 1 - At last, we finally signed a contract

December 15 - early January ...  meetings with bankers
     Little did we know, acquiring a bank loan would be such a challenge!
     4, 5, 6, 7 banks later ...

January 22 - A meeting with Jefferson County to confirm our ability to change building usages.
     The school -> a Lodge ....  The library -> a Cottage
     With approval from the county ...

January 26 - 28 - We emailed paperwork, and more paperwork to the bank.

January 30 - Tom emailed to say that the initial read on the loan is "quite positive"
     We are moving ahead!!!

January 31 - Tomorrow was the last day to get bank approval, without having to file for an extension.

March 2 - Closing day

It's a relief to know that we are moving forward.
Not knowing has impacted everything.
My mind is filled with questions.
What about Steve's job?
What about CC?  Should I direct Challenge A?
Do we need to be working on getting our house market ready?
Are we moving ... or not?

Now, it seems that yes ... we will be moving.
I am overjoyed!

Monday, January 19, 2015


Steve really wants a dog.
It seems that he thinks the kids would enjoy having a dog.

About a year ago, he put a post on Craig's List, without telling me.
He asked for a free dog.
When he found 2 dogs he wanted to get ... then he told me.

Peanut and Lucy came to live with us ... for a few short days.
Shiloh had an allergic reaction to them.
So, they went back to their owner.

But this opened up a big 'ole can ...
and he reposted on Craig's List - "homeschool family wants a dog."

Murphy came to live with us in November 2013.
He stayed until April, when he started biting.
We just couldn't have a dog that bit.
And at every opportunity, he would chase a child, adult, whomever ... and bite.

When Murphy went back to his owners in April, I thought this idea was behind us.
It was ... for a few months.
In October, we watched Worndo, a Chihuahua.  He was just here again for 2 days.

On Saturday, Steve had this idea to go to a doggie adoption day.
I was gone at a Mavuno Market event.
Steve took the kids to Petsmart.
"We won't get a dog, we'll just look," I was told.
"I've already told the kids, don't worry."
But by 9:45am, they had found a dog ...
and Steve was calling to ask me what I thought.

Well ... if he could find a female that we could breed, and sell the pups, then maybe.
With Evergreen on the horizon, I told him I was open to the idea.
But I did not expect that he would get one the same day.
Not 2 hours later ... he was heading home with a dog.

Meet Daisy.
Or Olive Oil.
Or Lil Mama, as they called her.
She just had a litter of puppies.
She's a mutt.

Shiloh is allergic to her.
Poor girl.
And now that we have another dog in the house, the emotion is piqued again.

Daisy is going back ... but the search for a dog has just begun.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


My baby is five.

Here are a few of Liberty's favorite things.

Color - red, yellow, and blue
Cartoon character - Minnie Mouse, Anna, Elsa, & Olaf
Food - pizza
Drink - milk & Izze
Place to go - Elitches, parks (Rhyolite)
Weekly activities - CC
Friend - Kezi, Abby, Addy, & Nadya
Animal - cats, horses, & dogs
Subject - 100 Easy Lessons (reading)
Toy - barn, castle (and figurines)
Activity - riding her strider bike & taking a walk
Board game - Candy Land and Chutes & Ladders

Since her birthday fell on a Tuesday,
and Saturday was the family celebration ...
Tuesday was pretty uneventful.
But Wednesday we went ice skating with the Olander family.
Then we went to see Shawnie at Starbucks, and Daddy at work.

Happy Birthday, sweet girl !!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

An Early Celebration

On Tuesday, Liberty turns FIVE.
Since Tuesday is not a great party day ...
we had our family cake party on Saturday.

She wanted a Minnie Mouse cake.

She got to choose all of her meals.
For breakfast, she wanted Minnie pancakes.
Landon was my helper extraordinaire!
I mixed the batter and he cooked all the pancakes!

For lunch, she wanted macaroni & cheese and hot dogs.
Dinner ended up being popcorn and leftover goulash!

She wanted all things Minnie, Frozen, and Hello Kitty.
And ear piercing is high on her list ... I'm just not sure it's on mine! =)
We will celebrate more on Tuesday ...
and even more on Wednesday, when we go ice skating and get her ears pierced.
Nothing like dragging out the birthday festivities!

Friday, January 9, 2015


Defined - a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program

Two weeks without it ... and it's a breath of fresh air when we regain it.
I love time off.
I love late nights.
I love sleeping in.
But with four kids in the mix, I don't appreciate it as much.
They don't know what to do with themselves.
They get restless.

Routine is a good thing.
Wednesday is Awana.
Thursday is CC.
And every other day is a school day.
We wake up, do our chores, start our school day.
No, they can't turn on a video.
We read.
We write.
There are expectations.

I love homeschooling, and more so when there's consistency.
So, off I go ... it's time to start our school day.

Monday, January 5, 2015


"When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.
Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would remove the veil, until he came out.  And when he came out ... the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face was shining."  Exodus 34:29, 34-35

A moon set over the Rocky Mountains

I love to watch the moon set.
A full moon at 6am is spectacular.
It moves quickly across the sky and sets behind the mountains by 7:30am.

I find the moon to be fascinating.
A dark, grey rock in the sky ... which is not all that beautiful
is made to shine beautifully ...
simply because it reflects the light of the sun.
It simply reflects the light of the sun.
It does nothing else.
Without the sun, it would remain a dark, grey rock.

It simply has to be.
As it is, the sun makes it glorious.

What a great parallel of the Christian life.
We too are grey and dull without the light of Christ.
All we have to do is be.
As we are, the love of the Father and the greatness of the Son shine on us.
It is because of who They are that we shine.

All of our striving ...
all of our effort ...
... will always fall short.

The One who rules the heavens and the earth ...
it is He who will shine on us.
He makes all things beautiful.

What is our role?
To simply receive His light.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Unspeakable Joy

This year, I pray that God will fill our home with unspeakable joy ...
inexpressible joy!
I pray that God will fill me with His joy ...
that I might rejoice over my kids and Steve.
May the joy of the Lord fill this place!

Zephaniah 3:17
"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing."

1 Peter 1:3-9
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith - more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire - may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.  Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

Psalm 32:11
"Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!"

Psalm 70:4
"May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you!  May those who love your salvation say evermore, 'God is great!'"

Psalm 90:14
"Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days."

Psalm 118:24
"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."

A Fresh Perspective

The loss of perspective can be a killer.
When I just can't seem to see through the thick of it,
when discouragement has set in,
when I can't see my way out of the vicious cycle I've fallen into,
just then, my Father meets me.
Just then, He sends fresh perspective through a dear friend.

The Davidson family has been such a gift to our family.
Andie is our CC director and Essentials tutor.
She has become a precious friend.
Each of my kids would say that one of her kids are their best friends.
Andie is a seasoned mom, with 8 kids, 15 and under.

A few days ago, she invited us over.
Her invitation was timely.
I was desperate for a listening ear, for some words of advice.
Andie was just that for me.
She was the friend I needed at a critical point.

Her words made a huge impact on me.
As I've struggled with Landon, his emotional highs and lows, and the test of obedience,
she gave me insight that I never would have found on my own.

"Parenting is like climbing Mount Everest, not The Rock!!"
That's a difference between 6,338 feet and 29,029 feet!
I have found myself hoping that I'm "going to turn a corner" in parenting.
That it's going to get easier, or that my kids are going to come out of this difficult stage.
For the sake of illustration, I think that at the next corner, I will reach the summit.
BUT Andie brought a reality check when she told me that the summit is FAR out of reach.
I've got another 25,000 feet to go!
Her advice was to accept that fact that the hardest is yet to come.
While that was not what I wanted to hear, I felt a sense of relief.
I can stop striving for the summit, and settle in for a VERY long walk!

She also encouraged that I listen to the sermon series, "Love the Little Ones," by Douglas Wilson.
Of the four parts, I found the first one to be extremely convicting.
Here's just a few things he said that stood out.

As our Father does with us, we are to be wrapped up in our kids, rejoice in them, delight over them, we are to burst into song when we see them them.
When we find disobedience in our homes, it is because the parents are disobeying.
The children are just imitating what they are seeing.

God gave Adam and Eve a world of yes and one no.
Keep life simple.  Keep the rules easy to memorize.
Parents far too often issue commands like a machine gun.
You don't show your authority by how much you command, but by how much you enforce.
Reduce the number of commands you issue by about 90%
and then enforce all of them.
A parent who disciplines effectively refuses to let the child be unlovely.
Discipline is corrective and is applied for the sake of the one receiving it.
Discipline is not for your sake, it is for the child's sake.

Your children need to see that you are as much under authority as they are.
And we should delight in our Authority.

So, I will step out with a fresh view of parenting as though I've just started out on a long journey to summit Mount Everest, and I will work to reduce the number of commands I issue by about 90% and then enforce all of them.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Year In Review

2014 was a good year for us.
It took us from India to the Caribbean to Sedona to Tanzania.

This beautiful girl turned FOUR

I turned 43.

We remodeled our living room

Steve laid new floors

Steve turned 44
Shawnie and I took a 12 day trip to India!
We visited our existing partnership with Lydia.
Then we stayed with Melanie and formed new partnerships.
India was an incredibly difficult place, but we learned so much.

Sawyer turned SIX
We took our 3rd annual trip to Elitches.
Steve finished the floors.

Shiloh turned ELEVEN

Baseball season!


We spent the 4th of July in Sedona, Arizona.

We celebrated our 16th anniversary.
Mom and Dad celebrated their 50th anniversary!
And we all went on a cruise!

Landon turns TEN

Colonial Days

Georgetown - Beaver Creek

The Rock Harvest Party

Steve goes to Tanzania!!
     Nov 26 - Dec 7

We went to Cuchara and cut a tree.