Sunday, December 21, 2008

I am signing off here until we return from Ethiopia with our new baby girl. It's just been a bit too crazy around here for me to try to keep up with this blog when there is so much going on here. I will only be posting there for a few more weeks then I will come back to this blog to start recording the adventures of our brand new family. Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year...see you in mid-January 2009.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Yesterday we ventured into the Pike National Forrest to find the perfect Christmas tree to grace our living room. My parents came along to get their tree too they found it pretty much right away. It took us a bit longer to find our turned into quite the excursion. It took us over two hours of searching in snow and down steep hills. Despite being wet and cold, we had a lot of fun. It made me wonder why we don't go on little winter hikes ever. There was something just magical about the forest covered with a blanket of snow. While Andy was scoping out the perfect tree, Blake and I looked for snow fairies in old stumps and found treasures that we left for the fairies to find when they came back to their snowy home.
We finally found a cute little tree that reminds me of a larger version of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. We decorated it last night and now our house smells like Christmas. It gets me into the holiday mood.

This online holiday radio also gets me in the Christmas spirit...I love it

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

snow, hot chocolate and chocolate cookies for breakfast

Weather prediction is not the easiest in Colorado...especially not this year. We have had so many warm days lately that I thought winter would never come! We finally got our real first snow on Saturday. The trees were completely covered and our windows iced over when we woke up. We probably got between 8 and 12 inches of snow. Normally I am not so thrilled about the snow (unlike someone)...but this year it came so late, that I was so excited about it...mainly because it meant I could finally wear my new boots. We braved the cold on Sunday and went sledding with some friends.
The recent cold weather has made me want to make all kinds of holiday goodies...chocolate covered pretzels, cinnamon rolls, toffee, and all sorts of cookies. I made Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies last week and have been enjoying them and a cup of hot chocolate for breakfast the past few mornings (the breakfast of champions)'s ok to eat cookies and coco for breakfast in December...right?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sending some quilt love...

My mom if full of ideas. She had the most wonderful idea a few weeks ago...she wanted to get a group of people together to sew quilts for the babies in the Gladney care center. We will deliver the quilts to the babies when we go to pick up our little girl. We are thrilled about this project and would love as many people at possible to take part in it. My mom has even sweetened the deal with some prizes from Junk Posse Jewelry, her etsy store. Here is what she wrote on her blog:

My most recent hero in the creative world is Joel Dewberry. He is an amazing fabric designer and artist. Find out more about his beautiful fabrics here. Joel was kind enough to send us a wonderful assortment of fabric to create mini '2x2' quilts to bring to an orphanage in Ethiopia in January.
If you sew or know a Sew Sister, Mom, Friend or anyone else that sews please tell them about our contest. We will send each person that enters enough Fabric to Make the front of a mini quilt.You may enter more than once-just let us know how many you would like to create. You finish the quilt with your design, creativity & details.
Mail the finished mini Quilt back by Dec. 20th.
We will be selecting several winners on Dec.31st!
First place $100.00 gift certificate to Junk Posse Jewelry
Second place $50.00 gift certificate to Junk Posse Jewelry
and three runner up prizes.
Sew what are you waiting for? Enter Today and help to give a sweet little one in Africa something to cuddle with.
If you are interested in being part of this, please email We are very, very excited about this project. This is a very simple do not have to be a pro-sewer to take part in this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

1. Thermal shirts that have the thumb holes built in
2. My new winter boots...please snow, come soon
3. Newton Faulkner CD
4. Fun socks

Monday, November 03, 2008

Amy's Favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend, Amy makes these amazing cookies...they are more like a muffin or cake than a cookie. I got the recipe a few years ago and have made them every year around this time. The second the weather starts cooling down and the days get shorter, I start craving their pumpkin/chocolaty goodness. They are oh-so-good and quite addictive. The recipe calls for apple sauce instead of butter or oil so it makes it a bit healthier. These are the cookies are perfect with a nice vanilla latte or apple cider:

Amy's Favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3 T. honey
1 15oz can of pumpkin
2/3-3/4 c. apple sauce
2 t. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 1/2 t. baking power
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 1/2 t. pumpkin spice
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
Place brown sugar, honey, pumpkin, apple sauce and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat until blended. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture...mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Drop onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

We have well recovered from our Halloween sugar high. We went trick-or-treating around town and enjoyed the uncommonly warm weather. Normally it is snowing on Halloween, but this year was just as warm as can be! It was almost too warm to be trick-or treating during the hot afternoon sunshine. We were able to spend some time with good friends and have a low-key Halloween.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

This last weekend we were oh so busy with so many fun things:
Plenty of playing in the leaves and enjoying some amazingly warm Colorado weather.
Carving pumpkins with good friends...
Enjoying the Red Bull Soap Box Derby at Red Rocks
I am super excited about a new project I am working on with my friend, Cindy.
Click here to take a look for yourself.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October happenings...

We have been so busy this last month, but it has been a lot of fun. I can't even believe that October will soon be over. It has gone by so fast. Here are a few pictures:

We have been enjoying the beautiful weather this month. We have been going to pumpkin patches, the corn maze, and hikes.

At the beginning of the month, Blake and I participated in the Denver Paint-In for Peace. We went down to Denver and painted in Civic Center Park. It was so much fun. Blake loved watching all the people and made a beautiful painting.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Poor blog.

Poor neglected blog. I do feel bad about it...really. Things have just been so busy...especially with everything that has been going on over here. I am excited for the days to come when I only have one blog to update.

With all the craziness that has been going on, I have been taking comfort in my kitchen and have been trying some really great recipes...try some of these if you get a chance:

Home made Oreos - they are especially amazing and pretty darn simple...and this is an amazing food blog.
5 minute bread recipe - (recipe at the bottom of the page) this recipe is great if you would like to make a fresh loaf of bread often with out having to kneed and proof and all that other bread making jargon. I honestly doubted this recipe. I thought it was way to simple to produce good bread. I was over joyed with the outcome.

Dear blog...I hope to be posting here again sooner than later.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Every May, there is a very large garage sale at the front of our little town. Last year, I found this amazing hand-sewn, vintage fabric quilt...something I should have bought on the spot, but couldn't convince myself that $10 was a good price (I have no idea what I was thinking) I didn't end up getting the quilt, but I honestly thought about it the entire year and couldn't believe I gave it up.
When the garage sale happened this year, my mom called to let me know my quilt was still there and it was now $5 and she put it on hold for me (thanks mom!). This quilt is amazing. I could look at each of the fabrics for hours and hours...I love it. The original owner and creator did such a good job that I am afraid I am not going to do them justice. They started to do the actual quilting part on one corner of this very, very large quilt...I have a long, long way to go, but hope to have it done by Christmas.
I love things like this. I love finding vintage table cloths and materials, vintage pyrex, anything vintage/retro. A few weeks ago, we went to the Denver Modernism Show I really didn't know what to expect, but it was right up my alley. They had lots of artists showing their work and many booths that held vintage/retro treasures. There was this orange rotary phone that I fell in love with, but was a bit out of my price range at $80. They had booths and booths of the old pyrex containers. It was so much fun to look at all the designs and learn something about the vintage pyrex bowls I own. I love how these old things hold so much beauty and simplicity. I am just drawn to them. I would much rather have my vintage pyrex bowl on my kitchen table than something that hardly has any history. I really think that is what gets me the most, the history these objects have. I love to think about all the fabrics for this this quilt made up of scraps from dresses that were too short to wear any longer? It's like our old house, part of our house was built in 1911...I like living in a home that has been standing here before I was my quilt, and my old pyrex bowls, it has many stories to share.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


It was time. I needed a bit of a I chopped my hair and I absolutely love it. It is exactly the freshness I needed.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Andy's New Toy/Work in Progress

Andy got his dream car last weekend...a 1976 FJ40 Land Cruiser. He is so excited about it. Blake helped him clean it up a bit while I was on the retreat last weekend. It needs some work, but it will be incredible when he is finished with it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I went on a retreat with our youth group from church this weekend. It has been a few years since I had been on a retreat with students and I remembered this weekend how much fun they are. We played crazy, crazy games, stayed up way late, and just enjoyed getting to know everyone. We had an amazing speaker who just really blessed our group with his words. The weekend was awesome and it was so cool to see the students so desiring God.

We had beautiful weather all weekend. It was cool and crisp in the mornings and evenings and nice and warm the rest of the time. We got back to the church on Sunday evening. After the students had gone home, we watched in the distance as a tornado came out of the sky and touched down. It did this a few times before we saw it begin to get bigger and start to pick up dust and debris. I have never ever seen anything quite like this before. It was amazing and scary at the same time. Thankfully, there were no major injuries and no major destruction. Crazy Colorado Weather.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Happy sixth wedding anniversary to us! I love you are some early pictures of us for your enjoyment:
And one fairly new picture of the three of us...

Thursday, August 07, 2008


I have the creative know, the one that won't stop bugging you until you find yourself at the checkout counter at Joann's or until you hear the hum of the sewing machine, the clicking of the knitting needles or the swish of the paintbrush across paper...yep, I have that itch. I have been trying to ignore it for the last few weeks. I mean, there is so much to do around here. However, the itch is so strong, instead of cleaning my bathroom, I find my self on this blog, wanting to make these gloves and this dress for Blake. Or I find this free pattern on this site. I even started to look at ideas for Christmas gifts...I made this bag once and I know there are some very special people who deserve one. And, Thanks a lot to Cindy who gave me the quilting itch ever since our visit to WA. We went to the drive-in movie on our last night and she brought out two of the most beautiful quilts...I want to make quilts now, and lots of them.

I was able to finish this painting last week. I love to paint and I go through times when I paint late into the night after everyone has gone to bed. I started on this last winter and just never got around to finishing it. The other day, Blake was really into her watercolors so I was actually able to finish this painting. I'm still trying to figure out where it will live in our house...probably in the dining room, but well see. I have loved painting for as long as I can remember. In second grade, I painted a picture of a bunch of teddy bears, all of them wearing bow-ties...the art teacher picked my painting to hang in the hall. At that point, I was completely hooked. I loved it. I mainly paint in water colors. I love to watch how the colors mix and mingle in the water. How they take on a life of their own, something that is completely out of my control. This painting was do with acrylics and a medium to make the birds and the wire stand out. This was an experiment and I think I am pretty happy with the outcome.

Art and creating is somethings that I so cherish in life. I hope and pray my children will have a love for art, even if it just for looking at paintings or sculptures or being able to appreciate someones creative abilities, or even just a love for the 64-count box of crayola crayons (you know the box I am talking about, the envy of all elementary students). Having a creative outlet is so important. It helps you to learn how to take chances and risks, and it allows the chance for mess ups and to be able to start over on a clean sheet. Creativity is everywhere we look. Weather you love doing art or not, we are all creative beings. We are made in the image of The Creative God and therefore, creativity runs through our veins.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dreaming of Autumn...

Yesterday, we got a little taste of some cooler weather...a wonderfully cool 85 degrees. I broke out my jeans and even fired up the oven for a new bread recipe. Our house is not air-conditioned and it just does not have the best airflow in the often seems to be 5-10 degrees hotter inside than it is outsides. So when these cooler days come around I start getting excited for the days of soup, fresh baked bread, lattes, clogs and my favorite North Face fleece. In honor of the 85 degree weather, I made some amazing blueberry bread. I doubled this recipe to make two loaves.:

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup fresh (Iused fresh since they are in season) or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.

In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, 1 cup sugar, juice and eggs. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk. Fold in lemon zest, nuts, and blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool bread in pan for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar in a small bowl. Remove bread from pan and drizzle with glaze. Cool on a wire rack.

This bread is so good and easy to only problem was I didn't grease the pan well enough and one of my loaves didn't come out all the sad. I want to try this bread using raspberrys...we're off to the farmers marker to see if we can find some there.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I wanna wear my flops, Mama...

Yes, we are enjoying the first flip flops Blake has worn...
thanks you to cousin Matt, Steph and Chris for these way cute flops.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Little Garden Fairy

A few weeks ago, I started seeing a certain little fairy in our garden. She comes out every few days to help me water and to make sure everything is growing as it should. She loves her fairy wings.

These were actually pretty easy to make. All you need are two metal hangers (they actually still sell these at walmart), two packages of girls tights (I used the largest size in girls to make sure I would have enough), yarn or twine to wrap around the wings, 3 yards of ribbon, glitter, and good ol' elmer's glue. You also need to watch this video that will guide you through everything you need to do. These wings were so much fun to make. I formed the hangers and put the wings together and Blake helped me to the glitter (outside of course...she did go a little glitter crazy).

I hope to see this little fairy in my garden all summer long!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Home Again.

Hello! We are home once again. After getting back from Thailand on July 2nd, I caught an early morning flight to Washington State to be with my husband and daughter. Washington was such a great time to recover from the jet lag and try to process through everything I experienced on the Thailand trip. I helped chaperon nineteen high school students on a mission trip to Thailand. We stayed in Fang, which is located north of Chaing Mai, just 15 miles from the Burma border. Thailand is a beautiful country. It is tropical and green and lush. The people are equally as beautiful. They are friendly and welcoming. There was not one time during our time in Thailand that I felt concerned for our safety. We stayed at the Kids Life Ministry Children's Home while we were there. There are currently 64 children living at the KLM campus. These kids are amazing...they are looking for sponsors for many of these KLM through the above link if you would like more information. KLM is also amazing. The staff who care for these kids on a daily basis have so much love for them. The thing I loved so much about this ministry is they are teaching these kids to love Jesus. The way these kids worship and pray is unlike anything I have ever seen. I was moved to tears on a daily basis by these kids and this ministry. We taught all the kids God of this City by Chris Tomlin. I lost it the first time I heard their voices saying these words. Each morning, we would have prayer at 5:00 in the morning. We would walk a huge map of Thailand with the kids. One morning, we were asked to play the song of the kids while they walked the map...oh gosh I completely lost it again. What an amazing pray to sing over this children's home. It just so touched my life. If you have not heard this is so amazing...check this video out for the song...I love it.

While the kids were at school, we would go out and visit other schools that KLM have been working with. We would do some activities with the kids at the school. When I say school, I mean a concrete square that has no chairs, books, desks, or anything. The kids sit on the ground and learn as much as they can. It was so cool to see them interacting with the high school students. They would crawl right up into their laps and work on the activities we had for them. One of the places we went to was the Orange Grove. These kids were refugees from Burma. Many of their parents work in the Orange Grove. The pesticides used for the oranges have made many of these people sick and some of even died. These sweet kids come into contact with these pesticides on a regular basis. These are even three families who live on the same property where they store and mix these pesticides. The mats they used in the school room to cover their dirt floor were the bags from the pesticides, sewn together. I was so angry of what these kids have to face. My heart hurt for them and I just pray protection over their lives.
This trip was so amazing and very emotional. I couldn't help to think about our baby in Ethiopia and wonder what she is experiencing there. God is still working in my heart to teach me more about everything that happened there. I would love to get another opportunity to return to Thailand and see these kids again. Thank you for all your sweet comments on the picture slide show...I am so glad you enjoyed them!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Thailand Pictures

Here are the pictures I has taken a little longer than I expected to get back in the swing of things...even a week later, I am still exhausted. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Back home

Just popping in to give a quick hello...we arrived back from Thailand this evening...I am exhausted physically and emotionally. The trip was so good and I think it will probably take several weeks for me to process through it all. I will be posting some pictures soon but in the mean time, I have so much laundry and unpacking to do. But first, some much needed sleep...good night.

Friday, June 13, 2008

In a little over a week...

I am off to the beautiful country of Thailand...yep, that's right, I said Thailand. At the beginning of the year, the youth ministry I volunteer with announced that they would be going to Thailand in June...although I wanted to go on the trip, I told myself to forget about it and that it wasn't going to be an option. Well, a few months ago, they were looking for another woman leader to go and asked me to join really is amazing how God has dropped this trip in my lap. We are so honored to be able to live at an orphanage in Chiang Mia where we will get to love on these kiddos all day long. We are taking 19 students with us, 18 of which are girls. I am so excited to be able to experience this new culture and to be able to serve the kids at the orphanage. I just keep thinking how amazing this experience will be, especially when it comes to where we are in our adoption. I mean, our child is probably in an orphanage in Ethiopia while I am serving at an orphanage in Thailand. I truly expect this to be a life changing and rather emotional experience for me...I am so ready to see what God is going to be teaching me during this trip. Please be praying for our team. Pray for traveling mercies, health, just that we would be able to soak up everything God is planning for us to learn and experience, and for the children at the orphanage.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hello Again

Hello again dear has been quite a while. Thing have been so busy this May that it has passed me by with only one blog post. We have had Andy's mom and Grandmother staying with us for the last week and a half and I had a major work conference last week and was gone Monday through Thursday. The entire week before that was filled with trying to get the last details set for our conference. I had a lot of fun at the conference and worked my little tail off.
This weekend, I was supposed to run the Bolder Boulder, but while we were working in the yard on Sunday, Blakeley dropped a gigantic shovel on the top of my foot and that stopped any hopes of running the 6.2 miles. My friend Amanda ran that race with flying colors...woohoo!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

So I did make one kind of cupcakes this week...a lemon cake with fresh raspberry frosting. I loved how the cake turned out, but I didn't so much care for the frosting. I used a recipe that called for cream cheese, butter, sugar, and of course, raspberries. Instead of having a stiff frosting that I could pipe onto the cakes, this frosting was rather liquidy. I even put it in the fridge for a few hours to set and I still wasn't pleased. I think next time I am going to try to use a whipped cream frosting mixed with the berries...we'll see. I also kinda cheated with the cake...since I was in a rush, I used a box (gasp!) of white cake mix and added the juice of two lemons to the mix. The cake did have a lovely lemony flavor...I was thinking next time of maybe adding a bit of sprite to the mix to see how that changes it. Oh there are so many, many options.

On Saturday, we went to the first Paris Street Market of the summer. I love going to Paris Street because you can find so many interesting things. It makes me want to buy old tea cups and vintage quilts and giant metal flowers for my garden. We first discovered Paris Street about five years ago. It was in this little parking lot at the community college. Each time we would go, we would see the same vendors and started to build relationships with them. The market soon got too big for the little parking lot and it moved to a new shopping center a few miles away. I remember feeling so sad when it moved. I just wasn't the same. It had lost the feeling of the small community. It has now been at its new location for the third summer. Yesterday it was evident that the community feeling had been formed once again. Just like the Warren Miller ski films mark the beginning of the winter season, Paris Street Market is the first real signs of the summer season to come...however it was only 40 degrees when we left the house Saturday morning.

Saturday I also spent the day in the front lawn raking and pulling weeds and planting a few flowers. I am most excited about a Honeysuckle that I hope will twist its way around our picket fence. I was so thrilled with how our yard looked when it was finished and I was also rather sunburned...another sign summer is coming soon.

Tonight, we had some friends over and enjoyed doing a bit of slack lining (Andy lowered the line by a foot so it was much easier to do now) grilled some veggie burgs and made some jalapeno poppers. I am ready for the warmer months to come and this weekend was a reminder of time being spent outdoors with good friends enjoying the long days of summer.

Friday, April 25, 2008

I want to make cupcakes. I was so inspired by Trophy Cupcakes that I now have this urge to bake all kinds of cupcakes. Have you ever done a Google search for cupcakes? It is amazing! Just look here at this amazing list of pure cupcake inspiration. I have been doing some major cupcake research lately and now I am just waiting for the few hours I need to start creating. Oh, I can't wait!
I have always thought that I would love to have a bakery. I love to make breads and cookies and pastries. I love baking because it feels like such an artful and love-filled process. When I bake it is almost always with someone in mind, normally Andy or Blake, but someone that I love who I want to enjoy something that is made from scratch. I have big plans and many cupcake recipes to try out...I think I want to try a red velvet and cream cheese frosting cupcake recipe first, or maybe a dark chocolate with raspberry frosting cupcake, or even a vanilla cupcake with butterscotch frosting, or how about a coffee cupcake with caramel many recipes so little time.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tree Stump Series

I am always taken by how lush and green everything is in Washington. I came across all these tree stumps and I had to capture their beauty. I love how they are dead and decaying, but there is so much life in them. The life of the moss and other foliage is just so amazing to me. I love how different each stump is and how they have character all their own.

Extended Weekend in Washington

A few times each year we are able to make to trip up to Washington to visit family. We love the time we get to spend there. Washington is such a beautiful state. We got there Thursday morning and went straight away to Trophy Cupcakes. The store is in this old building that was once a high school. I had the most amazing chocolate peanut butter cupcake. Andy a beautiful (yes, the cupcake was actually beautiful) Strawberry Lemon cupcake. Andrea, Andy's mom had a vanilla vanilla cupcake, and Roy had a red velvet cupcake. Blake even had a little mini cupcake. These cupcakes range from $2.50 to over $3.00. They sell around 1,000 cupcakes a day! Can you imagine selling that many cupcakes? They were oh-so-good...if you are in Seattle, you need to visit them and enjoy a cupcake.

On Friday, my hubby turned the big 2-6. His parents had a whole bunch of people over to celebrate. The Dunn's always cook the most amazing food. They made roast beef and had clams...oh the clams are always so goo. They also made the best margarita's ever...I will post the recipe below. Andy's mom made sure he had a margarita that was worthy of a 26th birthday, Andy's sister, Katie and Amber made sure his marg didn't go empty all evening...wasn't that nice of them? We were able to connect with friends we haven't seen in months and we were able to finally meet Sam. Sam was born in January and Blake would have held him all night if he would have let her. We finished off the night with DQ ice cream there anything better?

We also went to Northwest is kinda like a zoo, but better because all the herbivores can roam freely. We saw elk, deer, moose, big horn sheep, and bison. In the predator section of the park, we were able to see bears, cats, otters, raccoons, eagles, and owls. This was so much fun and we had beautiful weather. Blake loved being able to run all over the place and watch all the animals.

On Monday we took the ferry back to Seattle. We went to the Seattle Aquarium. I loved how Blake was able to learn about how the ocean works and the tides move. It was so cool to watch the seals and the otters. We went to Pike Place Market. I love the market. Seeing all the colors of tulips and fruit and vegetables, it is just so much fun. I also love watching all the people. I also made sure we were able to go to the original Starbucks. I love going to this Starbucks and seeing where it all started.

We had such an amazing and much needed visit. Thank you Dunn's for everything, We love you!

The Best Margs's Ever:

1 cup each:
fresh lime juice
lemon juice
powder sugar
tequila - Milagro Anejo Tequila - this is a must!
zest of two limes
zest of one lemon
Mix all the ingredients and let sit in the fridge for 4 sure to drink all the mix the day you make it otherwise it goes bitter the next day.