Thursday, December 31, 2009

Quinn arrived a little over a week ago and we are completely smitten.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Still Pregnant.

Need I say more?

Haven't really felt like blogging...let's just say I'll start again after Christmas and after Quinn arrives. For now, Merry Christmas.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

100 Miles

100 miles is not a great distance...especially when you think about the average distance food travels to get to our dinner table, a whopping 1,500-2,500 miles. The 100 Mile Challenge is a show that has been running on Planet Green for the last few weeks. Six families from Canada signed up to only eat food that has traveled 100 miles or less, from farm to table, for 100 days. The families were inspired by Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon, the authors of Plenty, a memoir about the authors experience of the 100 mile diet for one year.
We have also been inspired by the show and the book as well and hope that next summer we can do our own 100 mile challenge. We have been searching the web finding locally grown food. We have found many resources for just about everything we will need...of course, there are a few items (salt, for one) that we have not been able to find. Besides discovering locally grown food within 100 miles, I am hoping that we will also discover a new way of eating and a healthier understanding of where food comes from. We are planning on growing some of our food in our garden, joining a CSA, and hopefully getting some chickens. I have also been researching foraging for food in Colorado. The possibilities of new tastes are very exciting.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blake's 1st Art Show

Blake has been in an art class over the last few months...she has been painting and discovering shapes and how to mix colors. Art class is something she absolutely loves to do. She now spends hours and hours coloring and cutting at home. It has been so much fun to see her creativity start to really come out and just watching her discover a love for painting and creating.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


On Friday we had our court date to finalize Brecken's adoption. We had to get all dressed up and go to the county courthouse for a judge to look over our files. Andy's mom came to visit on Thursday so we got to have both the Grandmas at court with us! We even got to go to a fancy restaurant to celebrate after. It is just so crazy and so big that the final step in completing the adoption is done. Brecken has blessed our family in so many ways. She brings joy to our lives. I can't believe that this time last year we were still waiting to bring her home...and now everything is finalized. Brecken's adoption was an amazing journey and we could not imagine our family without her. Love you Brecken Hope.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stuck at the house, enjoying watching the snow falling, and getting ready to go out and play.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Here is another recipe that I have been working on for a while. There are a lot of granola recipes that add tons of oil and butter and tons and tons of sugar. If I am going to actually enjoy my granola, it needs to taste good, but it also needs to be healthy. I don't want to be dumping candy coated oats and nuts on to my vanilla yogurt each morning. This recipe is fairly healthy but is still good enough to eat by its self.

Brit's Granola
4 cups Oats
Nuts and seeds of your choice - I used a cup each of raw sunflower seeds and raw whole almonds
1 cup unsweetened coconut
4 T. real maple suryp
6 T. organic, no sugar added apple sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
Cinnamon to taste
Dried fruit

Preheat your over to 350 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Combine both the wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Bake the granola on two foil lined cooking sheets for 16-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow it to fully cool before taking it off the cookie sheet. Add your dried fruit and store in a large ziplock bag or container. Enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

St. Mary's Glacier

This weekend was absolutly beautiful in Colorado. We had seventy degree weather and sunshine so we decided to spend sometime outside. We have gone up to St. Mary's Glacier for the last four years. At the top of the glacier there is a beautiful little lake and there is always someone skiing or snow boarding the glacier. Here are some pictures from our hike:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie? Yes Please...

I am always on the look out for recipes that can become my go-to...I found my blue berry muffin recipe, my favorite pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, and now I've found my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. They are the right balance of sweet and salt and they come out big and thick and just so good. When I make cookies, I tend to use the cheapest chocolate chips I can find at the store...I can only imagine the goodness these cookies would be with some high quality chocolate chips. This is also an amazing cookie can pretty much add what ever additions you want - white chocolate chips, nuts, dried fruit, anything and they will come out good.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 c flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c melted butter
1 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1 T vanilla
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 c chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. Cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
  4. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This weekend we traveled down to Penrose, Colorado for a birthday party at a pumpkin patch. The girls had a blast exploring around. Both of the girls brought home a small pumpkin. This was Brecken's first time getting a pumpkin. This little pumpkin patch was so cute. Not only could you get pumpkins, but earlier in the year you could pick your own apples and berries. They have a tractor the pulls you down to the pumpkin area and Brecken loved it...she was pretty upset when we had to get off it.Blake and Brecken hanging out at the barn
Brecken's first pumpkin

On the Tractor

Monday, September 28, 2009

Last Monday night I was made the best homemade macaroni and cheese I have ever made...unfortunately I didn't get to enjoy it very much. When I was straining the boiling noodles into the sink, the boiling water spilled out on to me. Andy called my folks and they came and they watched the girls while we went to the hospital. We spent three hours in the emergency room on Monday night. I had second degree burns on my left thigh and on parts of my very pregnant stomach. At the hospital, they hooked us up to a fetal monitor and did an ultrasound and Quinn is just fine. My thigh is healing quite nicely, my poor stomach still hurts quite a bit. When my parents came to watch the girls, my mom saw the noodles and the cheese sauce and was able to salvage the mac and cheese...thank goodness, because it really was the best I have ever made.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Revisiting the 'poo

At the beginning of summer, I stopped shampooing my hair...I just gave it up cold turkey and I sported a ponytail all summer long. I wish I could say how I instantly loved the no shampoo effect on my hair and that my hair never felt thicker or more manageable...but that would be a complete lie. My hair was so gross, it was oily and it clumped together sometimes. Gross. Yuck. Ick. It was bad. I went three whole entire months with out shampooing my hair. I finally broke down, went to the grocery store and purchased some natural, vegetarian shampoo. I ran home and shampooed my hair like I have never shampooed it before and it was so wonderful. Now I only shampoo my hair on Friday and my hair is so much happier for it. I can feel the difference of when I was washing my hair daily and now, I can honestly say that my hair is healthier and much easier to manage. I am thrilled I gave my hair the shampoo break it needed this summer and I highly recommend it...just be prepared to sport the ponytail.

Friday, September 11, 2009

We are starting to enjoy those crispy cool mornings in Colorado...mornings where I can actually make a cup of coffee and use my oven before the day starts the heat up. The last few weeks we have been trying to adjust to the newness of school...two days a week we wake up and get ready and hurry out the door to get Blake to school on time. I have been trying each Friday to get up and make something special for breakfast. I have been scouring the web for recipes for breakfast and came across the most wonderful blueberry muffin recipe. I followed the recipe the first time I made these muffins and they were so wonderful...the muffins were soft and sweet, the blueberries were warm and juicy, the topping was amazing. I made it a week later and decided to tweaked the recipe a bit to make it a bit healthier (we still kept the topping) and they were still great! Even Andy said they were still great and the girls absolutely devoured them.

Here is the recipe with my changes:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk + more if needed
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place applesauce into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups 3/4th of the way, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To Make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


So I believe I am ready to re-emerge again. So much has happened in the last few months and it does make me so sad that my sweet blog has no record of it...but I needed my break. We found out I was pregnant in April and soon I was completely overtaken by morning sickness and hormone related depression. I couldn't stand the pressure of trying to write I just closed everything down for a while until I was feeling better...I never thought it would take this long to start feeling better. I was really angry about the whole situation...I'm pregnant...this is supposed to be an exciting time, a time when I am thrilled about the future of our family and thrilled that I can even get pregnant again...but I was just so very sad about it all. Over the last few months I have had to really embrace my crazy emotions and realize that depression is terrible a sickness that will eventually pass. It is amazing how common it is for women to experience depression during pregnancy, yet it is something that is so rarely spoken about. The March of Dimes estimates that 1-2 pregnant women out of 10 experience some symptoms of major depression. Depression is something that must be spoken about.

I also had to learn the to accept help from others. I am blessed with an amazing support system and all these people who I love and who love me gathered around me to help me however they could. Thank you so much to my friends and family who supported me during the last few months by cleaning my house, driving me around, providing meals, watching my girls, and continuing to call even when I really did not want to talk to anyone at all. I have been so very blessed by all of you.

The last few months have been so difficult. I am blessed to be going into another season of this pregnancy. We found out a few weeks ago that we will be welcoming a boy into our family in December. We will name him Anderson Roy Dunn V, but we will call him Quinn. He is healthy and strong and we can't wait to meet him.

Blake and Breck have been so amazing this summer. They have both grown in so many many ways. Brecken turned one on May 23rd. We had a big celebration at our house not only celebrating her birthday but just the fact that she is ours. We learned that day that she has a major sweet tooth...she completely dove into her cake and loved every minute of it. She started walking over 4th of July weekend. All of a sudden she took eleven steps at once and then sixteen steps, and then there was no stopping her. She loves to walk and explore things. She is amazing. I just look at her and realize how many ways she has blessed our family.

Blake is an amazing big sister. She absolutely loves Brecken and is so excited about Quinn. She has been so sweet to Brecken. Each night she gives her a kiss before she goes to sleep. She comforts Brecken when she is crying. She amazes me. This summer Blake started soccer...she is a soccer star. In August, Blake started preschool two mornings a week...she went right into her classroom, said goodbye to mommy and daddy and started playing. I actually made it out to the car before I started crying like a baby. She loves going to school and loves to help her teacher. She is starting art lessons next weeks and is just so excited about them. Blake turned 4 yesterday, Sept. 8th. Unfortunately, Andy, Blake and I all had the flu so it wasn't the funnest birthday ever...we are going to have a birthday dinner later on this week when we are feeling better. I can't believe she is 4. Each year just goes by faster and faster.

So that was our summer in a are some pictures for you as well...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

So another month has gone by...with no posts. I am going to officially be taking a blog-hiatus. I have really been struggling for a few months with the blog. We have been so busy and I am absolutely exhausted and trying to deal with a difficult first trimester of pregnancy. Not sure how long I'll be gone..

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

to 'poo or not to 'poo

Shampoo, I mean. I recently have found a movement of people who have stopped using shampoo. Some have done this for economical reasons - good shampoos can tend to be expensive and it is something you will always eventually run out of. Others are doing it for environmental reasons...less plastic containers, less chemicals going into the earth and into the body. This whole idea just intrigues me. I always try to use products in my house that are environmentally friendly and not harmful to our family...but this is just something I want to try out for myself. Some 'no poo-ers' use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean their scalp and hair and then rinse with apple cider vinegar...this method really does not float my boat. There is a low-poo method that I am going to try. I will be using Dr. Bronner's castile soap once a week....the rest of the week I am just going to rinse my hair with just water and go.
I look at my daughters' hair...I maybe actually wash their hair once a week even though they shower every day...their hair always looks great, never greasy or smelly. I have been trying to go longer between washes...normally I am a wash my hair everyday kind of this is going to be a huge thing for me to do. I am hopping that it will only take a week or so for my hair to transition in to this low-poo way of life. I washed my hair on is now Tuesday...let's just say that I have been wearing my hair up for the last few days. I know it's going to take time and I want to really give this thing an opportunity to work...We'll see how it goes.

Here are some no-poo resources:
No Shampoo Alternative - No Poo
When it comes to shampoo - less is more
Why You Should Go No 'Poo

Monday, May 18, 2009

Soccer Girl

Blake had her first soccer game this weekend. She did amazing! She scored two goals and just had so much fun! We had a blast watching the game. It was just so funny to see these three and four year-olds running after the soccer ball and trying to figure out how to play the game. At one point in the game, Andy was trying to explain to Blake about teams and how you don't want to let the other team (the Red team) get the ball...he ended up telling Blake that she didn't have to share with the Red was so funny, but she understood. Blake got the ball from the other team a few times and even blocked a goal! I have never really played team sports before...I swam when I was growing up and in high school. I did play volley ball for a while, but I'm just not aggressive enough...Blake definitely does not have that issue. We were just so proud of her and we can't wait for her next game!
Here is also a picture of sweet Brecken at the game too...she loves being outdoors and watching the kids. She is almost one now and just getting so big.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Well, the sweet little baby we have been watching met her adoptive family this morning. We are thrilled that she now has a family, but we have also fallen in love with this little bundle and we are sad to see her go. Fostering over the last week has just given me a new perspective on adoption...I have been able to see what it is like to love on a child and then give the child to the family they belong is a mixture of joy and longing. We take joy in knowing that sweet baby girl will be loved and cared for by her new mom and dad and big sister...we are also longing for the next baby that will bless our house. We love you sweet baby and are excited for your new life!

This last weekend we celebrated St. Patrick's Day at the Sedalia St. Patrick's Day Parade. This was your normal small town parade complete with tractors, 4H club members, llamas, and lots of candy. It was so much fun...her are some pictures from the festivities:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I know I have been MIA for a while...I hate going a week and a half between posts, but things have been a bit crazy here. Breck's cold turned into another ear infection and I have been trying to start preschool with Blake. On top of everything, we got a call on Wednesday asking if we would be interested in fostering a sweet baby girl who was born on the 9th. We said yes right away because an opportunity like this could only be from God because it is something I would never, ever imagine happening. So on Thursday the 12th, our two month anniversary of coming home from Ethiopia with Brecken, we picked up a little peanut of a baby that we are so thrilled to be able to love on. We have no idea how long we will have her but we are honored to be be this little girl's family for a while.

I have been so proud of Blake over the last two months. She is amazing with Brecken. I catch her calling Brecken "sweet girl" and running to get diapers and wipes for me. She is such a grat big sister. She has been sleeping in her own bed for over a month now...something that is absolutely wonderful, but something that made me sad to because it is a major sign that she is growing up and it really made me understand how quickly these little ones become independant. Blake has been going to breakfast with her Grandpa a few times a week to celebrate her sleeping in her own bed. This time is such a big treat because she gets to go to McDonald's and eat ice cream and pancakes...yes, grandparents can get away with anything. I started homeschooling Blake a few weeks ago and she loves it...she begs for school. She has been working on writing her name lately. I am so proud of my beautiful big girl.

Brecken is just plain delicious. This little girl loves to smile. In the last week she started waving and really saying "Dada," she also gives little kisses to me when I ask her. She has also been able to balance standing on her own for about five seconds. There isn't much that Brecken does not like to eat...she loves yogurt, squash, apples, black beans...and it is showing in her rolls and rolls on her legs. This little girl is such a little chunk! It is amazing to me that when we first set eyes on her she was 8 pounds and three and a half months. At almost ten months, I bet she is pushing 20 pounds. She has been such a blessing to our family we are so amazed that she belongs to us.

So, things are crazy around here, but it is the good, can't believe this is happening to us kind of crazy and we have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

We are still here, but we've been sick again...lovely colds that we just can't seem to kick. Blake, Brecken and I have been stuffy and tired. We are hoping to start feeling better soon. Our colds have not been stopping us from enjoying the warm weather though. We have been enjoying near 70 degree days by playing outdoors and working to prepare our garden beds. Yesterday I discovered some bits of green that are peaking out of the brown earth...I planted irises last year and they are now going to grace our front yard with their presence. Blake and I also started our seeds for our veg garden...we have tiny sprouts of corn, tomatoes, basil and squash. I am very much ready for warm spring days.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

We have had such a warm winter this year...not much snow, and many wonderfully warm days. So warm, in fact, that I am seeing little sprouts of my garlic and green onions starting to come up and I find myself dreaming of our summer garden. The warm days have found us going on walks and trying to spend some time outdoors. Andy had Monday off so we went on a little walk in the open space. Here are some pictures from our mid-winter walk.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A few nights ago Andy told me that a few guys from town were talking about getting a few calves for free and that he was thinking about getting one too. He said that we would have to bottle feed the calf for a month or so. My first thought was..."Wow! That would be so cool to have a calf that we could watch grow and develop. I would love to take the girls out to see the cow! What a neat experience." I continued to think about getting this cute little calf for a few days...having visions of bottle feeding this sweet, defenseless animal, before it really hit me why they would be getting these, to eventually eat them...being a vegetarian, this was not my first thought. I'm not a vegetarian because I feel that it is wrong to eat animals...I'm a vegetarian for health reasons, but I don't think I would be able to even cook the meat from the animal that I bottle fed when it was a baby. I understand that people who have lived on a farm have a much healthier view of the animals turning into meat idea, but I just don't know if I could get there. So, will we get a calf...I have no idea. If we do, it will be something I have to really try to work through.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I saw this cake yesterday and I had to rush to the store to get everything I needed to make it right away. It was fun to make and pretty darn easy. Now, I'm really not one to like adding coloring to my food, but I had to make an exception because this is such a very happy cake. We made this cake while Brecken was down fer her afternoon nap...Blake helped me to stir in the colors and we talked about different things that are the same color that we were mixing. I just used whipped cream to frost the cake and it was so much fun with the contrast of the white against all the bright colors.

We also had Breck's nine month doctor appointment...we were thrilled to find out that she has gained over two pounds in less than a month and has also grown 2-3 inches!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Blake licking the frosting off after we baked a cake and Brecken right before our first post placement visit.

We have still been moving a little slow around here (I think I finally got out of my pjs around 11:00 today). We are still all trying to get healthy and trying to get some very much needed sleep. We are finally back on Colorado time, but we are still getting used to waking up with a baby during the's kinda crazy that we forgot what its like waking up with a little one a few times each night. Andy's mom is staying with us and has been a major help. Both girls have been fighting ear infections, I have a wonderful little cold and Andy is adjusting to being back at work...but despite all that, we are so very happy. Brecken is adjusting really well. She is just about the happiest baby I have ever seen. Blake is such a great big sister...she loves to give great big hugs and kisses to her sister. We have been getting out a bit...we've been to Target quite a few times this week to get prescriptions filled, more bottles, great clearance shoes for know, the essentials. We are hoping that once we all get healthy we can start to venture out even more...we are hoping to go to see this on Saturday!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

There has been so much that has gone on in the last month...everything is kinda blurring together. We enjoyed Christmas together with my family and then went up to the mountains for a few days. We were able to just relax in the mountains...we all went sledding together one day. It was just some good time to enjoy being a family of three for the last time.

When we got home we dove into packing for our trip...We ended up bringing five bags - two huge bags full of humanitarian aid, one bag full of diapers and formula and snacks for us, and two backpacks of clothing. We left on the 1st for Ethiopia and arrived on the 3rd. We got Brecken our first day in country. She is so amazing. Sometimes I just look at her, so in awe that she is actually here and actually ours. We are so very, very blessed by this special gift from Ethiopia.
We have not been home for a little over a week. We all came home with stomach issues, colds, coughs, and just all around exhaustion. We found out a few days ago that Brecken has double ear infections and her right ear drum ruptured...other than that, she is just such a happy baby. She smiles all the time and just loves to babble. More to come later.