In earlier American rural life, communities raised barns because many hands were required. These events occured in a social framework with a good deal of interdependence. Members of rural communities often shared family bonds going back generations. They traded with each other, worshipped with each other and celebrated with each other. Barn raisings were an integral part of life and socializing.

In our modern American life, communities don't mean nearly as much as they did back then. It is our family's goal to bring a sense of community back to our lives and those lives that touch ours.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday Creation on Monday

   I forgot yesterday was Sunday and even though I am glad I wrote the post that I did, I have been excited to share this weeks' creation. So here goes. I have been loving working with felt. It is super easy, so soft and I am always pleased with the end result. An extra bonus is that it is an easy project to set down and pick back up again without forgetting where I am at. This is usually my problem with knitting. I forget which stitch I am on and have to count again and again. And I love sewing, but dragging out the machine and then having to wrestle an almost two year old away from it is sometimes more challenging than it's worth. Felt never gives me any problems. I discovered this book called Fa La La La Felt just before the holidays last year. I didn't get any ornaments made for Christmas then, but my goal is to get a few done before this years' celebrations roll around. I started out with this sweet little owl. I have loved owls for a few years, and luckily (or unluckily) for me, they are now all the rage. I guess it is hard to be original in a world with six plus billion people on it. At any rate, here he is:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pioneer Town

   Today the wind blew and we stayed inside all day.
   But that is not an exciting post. So instead, I will write about what the children and I did yesterday while Hubby was at work on his birthday. I am discovering all kinds of things about our small town. Which is, I suppose, the most thrilling thing about moving somewhere new. Our small town really comes alive from Memorial Day through October. Phew, because I was really beginning to have my doubts about this place. By "our small town", what I really mean is the four small towns that make up this area. They all merge with each other, but because of water rights, they are all individual towns. To make it easy, I just call the whole area our small town. There is is wonderful little place that is open seasonally and yesterday was the grand opening for the season. This is their website: I have seen it from the road and figured my family would be spending some time there, but after yesterday, I know we will be spending A LOT of time there. It looked small from the road, but it turns out that it goes further back than you can see from there. Which ultimately left me unprepared as I thought that we would be there an hour and leave. I can't comfortably carry T in a sling or frontpack right now. I dislike pushing a stroller unless I know for sure that we will have a long day, such as when we are at a museum or the zoo. I thought T could walk for the time I believed we would be there. Turns out we were there three hours and T needed a nap so I carried him for two hours. Can you say exhausting?! We had fun, though, as we explored "main street" from the late 1800's-early 1900's. The children took turns churning cream until it turned into butter.

T taking his turn at making butter.

M sharing her turn with T.

We visited all of the many outbuildings, including a working Blacksmith's shop, a house filled with antique dolls and toys, a mock train station, a building full of western and Native American relics, an old schoolhouse (the childrens' favorite due to the working belltower) and a few others that escape my memory. We also were able to view fiber arts in action. As much action as fiber arts can manage, that is. The children tested out beautiful old handcrank sewing machines. S and M took turns using a spinning wheel to turn raw wool into yarn, while I chatted with a lady about making rugs. I love making connections and I am anxious to keep in touch with this woman and possibly become a part of the weavers guild she belongs to. We finished our day by taking a wagon ride pulled by two Belgian draft horses, who were a wonderfully matched set, but were both named Daisy. All of us are excited to go back and take Hubby along to explore some more.
The Blacksmith making a pair of tongs.

Trying the handcrank sewing machines.
So pretty and old

Waiting for our wagon ride.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Hubby's Birthday

    The thing about being an adult and having a birthday is that, really, it's just not as fun as it used to be. Especially when you have to work and then come home to a family of small people. This, however, is life and life is what Hubby had to experience for this year's birthday. He is now thirty-two. I have spent the last thirteen birthdays with him. Today's was definitely not that exciting. After spending most of his day working in Grand Junction, he was able to come home. Before we could have dinner, we needed to take care of the animals. I thought it only fair that the children and I do this job and give Hubby a moment off. That lasted, oh, about two minutes. When we got into the barn and made our way past wiggling, licking, jumping dogs, we discovered a dead bird laying near the dogs' bowls. Gross. I don't do well with dead bodies. S went to ask Daddy to save the day. Well, once you are in the barn, it is quite hard to come back out. There is always an animal that needs something extra, even if it is just a scratch behind the ear. While I fed and watered the animals, the children set to work on scooping doggy doo. After a momentary argument about which pooper-scooper belonged to whom (they are identical!) they set to work. I, meanwhile, had finished feeding and had taken the dogs out for their nightly run about. I call it their perimeter check. Halfway through this I am startled by high pitched shrieking from the barn. It seems another dead body has been discovered, this time a mouse. M does not do well with dead bodies either. Hubby has to save the day again. So, my poor, sweet Hubby had to work all day, do double duty on body removal, and cook his own sausages for dinner. Not glamorous at all. We did finish our dinner with a fun and yummy ice cream sundae bar. Someday, when we are older and greyer, maybe we can actually celebrate with a trip somewhere. But where's the excitement in that?! I love you Hubby and hope you had a good birthday anyway. Thanks for being our hero.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Small Town Library

   There are times that living in a small town has drawbacks. Like when you want to go out to eat. Or buy organic groceries. Basically, anything to do with food. Which is even more frustrating when you are pregnant and all you want is gourmet olives, sushi and someone else to fix your meal. But a major benefit of being in a small town is getting to know others and be known around town. The trust that is automatically given is astounding. Take today, for example. M, T and I went to the library. I needed to fax something and we, of course, needed books. I didn't realize how much it would cost to fax and I fell short twenty-five cents. The librarian just rang me up with what I had and didn't even bat an eye. Later, as we were checking our books out, a different librarian and I were chatting about daughters and how they never fail to surprise you. I was loading my books back into the handy carts they provide for people like me that check out dozens of books at a time. As she handed me my last book, she glanced at the computer screen and said to me that not all of the books had checked out. I said I would unload them and start again and she just shrugged and said she wasn't going to worry about it, that we had checked out enough books in the past to (apparently) make us trustworthy. She trusted that I would return the books all together when they were due. Which of course I will. The library is the one place in the world I love unconditionally. No matter what town I visit, I have to seek out the local library. I love books and I love librarians. I love the smell of books. I love the crisp sound of pages being turned. I will never own one of those electronic devices that are supposed to replace books. In my mind, there is nothing better than a good book. Except for good food.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Grand Junction

   Mama felt brave today and left the couch. Not to just go down to the barn or over to Meme and Papa's house. I mean really left. We took the children and headed to Grand Junction. Woohoo. There are small (and large) errands that you just need to do yourself. Plus, I HAD to get out of the house. I am not a sit still person. Not even a little bit. I have a hard time finishing sewing projects simply because I don't want to sit still to do them. I like to take the kids to new places. Or at least to the park and library. So being still has been challenging for me. Worth it, but challenging. We didn't do anything too big, just a little shopping, but, wow, it felt great. At any rate, I didn't get the other posts typed up that I said I would in my last post. A project for tomorrow, perhaps. I am a sleepy, worn out Mama, but very pleased indeed.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This Stinks

This stinks. The post that I spent so much time on the other night didn't get saved, let alone posted. My blog hasn't allowed me to sign in for days. Now I finally can and I have a lot of catching up to do. So be forewarned, I will be double and possibly triple posting tonight. That makes for a lot of reading for you tomorrow. Until then, wish me luck!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


   Our Wednesday Wonder for today is kittens! Found as an ad in our favorite paper, The High Country Shopper, there were four kittens needing homes. Meme has been wanting some kittens to be around her house for mouser duty. And I secretly think she wants them for a little extra lovin'. But, shhh, don't tell her I said that. ; ) So her and I went to check them out. There were two black and white ones and two orange tabbies. Meme immediately wanted the black and white ones. And after a quick call to Hubby, I came home with an orange tabby. He should know better than to let me ever go look at animals without him. It was a big surprise to the kiddos and boy, were they ever excited. We have determined that Meme has one male and one female, yet to be named, and that our kitten is a male. His name is Crookshanks, after Hermione's cat in the Harry Potter series. Can you tell who named him? Yep, that's right, the kids. Well, Hazel and Autumn are really not so sure about him. Autumn spent most of the evening growling and hissing at anyone who came too close. Hazel went and hid in the bedroom. He is supposed to eventually become a barn cat to keep Adam company, but we will see how that works out. In the meantime, he is staying inside and getting LOTS of love.
M with Meme's female kitten.

So sweet.

Look at that smile. Priceless.

He was so excited. I caught him at a funny
 moment between a smile and a laugh.

Cat napping

Baby Crookshanks and Baby Bump
   We had a blustery, part snowy, part rainy, very windy day around here. Despite all of that, they shipped more cows off this ranch to go summer on the other ranch. It is in the mountains behind Vail. Kinda makes me wish I was a cow. They have it made. I want to summer in Vail. Now there are no cows and calves in the field in front of our house. I must admit, it looks a little lonely out there. This ranch will now be irrigated all summer to raise all of the hay to get the cattle through next winter. A pretty smart setup, if you ask me. All that is left on the ranch is the market cows, which will be sold soon, and the bulls, which will be moved up soon to make the babies for next year. The cycle goes on.

And just because he is so darn adorable, I am including a pic of my T.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ninth Birthday

My baby turned nine today. It is his last year in the single digits. I can hardly believe how quickly the time has gone by. It makes me so insanely grateful to be a home educating family. All of the time that I am able to spend with my children is priceless. I can't imagine sending them off to spend their days with someone else. At any rate, a little about my boy now. He was born in Flagstaff, Arizona via cesarean section after thirteen hours of unmedicated labor. Four hours of pushing did not yield the outcome I had planned on. My little man proved his stubbornness from the get go. He was sideways and no matter what position I tried pushing in, he was not coming out. My doctor was amazing and slow and gentle. Never pushed me into a decision, just made a suggestion. When I decided it was finally time to have him, things moved much faster than they had all day. And soon enough, we had an eight pound, seven and a half ounce, 20 inch long, healthy baby boy. When he was a newborn, he loved to be outside. That hasn't changed. His favorite lullaby was, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". He talked early and has never failed to amuse or amaze us with vocalizing his thoughts. His love of learning has taken him far and I am excited to see how his development turns out as the years go by. He loves Legos and has a knack for building things better than any kit could ever give directions for. He has gone from trains and trucks to Star Wars and now on to Harry Potter. He is a helpful and loving big brother. He loves his cat, Autumn, and she loves him as much. He is a good friend and an excellent son. I love him more than I could ever explain to him. Happy Birthday, my sweet, sweet boy.

With M and T and their gift to him today.

We are saving the cake for our family party on Friday,
so he had candles on his french toast instead.

Love that grin

Barely three. He loves the mud.

Four and a half with his very first bike. He hasn't stopped riding since.

Five. Hanging out with Mom.

About two and a half. "Breastfeeding" his busy doll.

Six and a half. He was thrilled to see such
 a large bill. It belonged to an uncle in Michigan.

Legoland Chicago. Six and a half. Just hanging with R2-D2.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


    For our Sunday Creation today, I will be talking about creations to come. I spent my afternoon looking through the pattern book that I think is so great called "Bend the Rules Sewing", by She blogs at I have already made the gnome hat from her book for T to wear last Halloween. I think I will make some bibs and throw pillows next. I also have plans to make some diaper change pads for a very close friend of mine who is expecting her first child in July. At any rate, it is fun to plan out ways to be creative. Sewing allows me to sit still and be mostly relaxed. I say mostly because pulling out the sewing machine with a toddler around can prove challenging at times. I will keep you posted on how these projects come along.

I can't wait to get started!

    I was able to get some flowers potted this week, which really brightened my spirits. I am still not able to do much of anything, so digging for a large garden is out of the question. But putting flowers into pots is relaxing and stimulating at the same time. They now adorn our front porch and the stairs leading up to our front porch. A little burst of color every time we open the door. The basil seed that I planted just over a week ago has come up so quickly that it actually surprised me. It is a blend of basils, however, the purple basil seems to be prevalent. The color purple is my favorite, so it works for me to have so much purple basil. I can't wait until it is big enough to harvest and eat.
One week ago


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pleasing to the Eye

Just a quick post today. I am going to share with you a couple of pictures that have been pleasing to me in the past week. Nothing super. Just simple and sweet.

My breakfast. Such pretty colors.
My kitties, snuggling in the closet. A rare occurance since the
 grey one is generally attacking the calico one.

Friday, May 13, 2011


    On May 13, 2000, Hubby and I pledged to share our lives together, to give each other unconditional love and to be together until the end of our days. Eleven years later and we wouldn't change a thing. We started dating over thirteen years ago, when I was a junior in high school and he was a freshman in college. We knew pretty quickly that we needed to be together forever. A year after I graduated from high school we were married.
    We have had some pretty unforgettable times together. We have been on countless roadtrips. Our favorite place to go is my Uncles' cabin in Grand Teton National Park. Our second favorite place is anywhere in the mountains. Our most memorable trip was when we took S at nineteen months to London, England.
    We have lived in two different states and had nine moves since we were married. Our least favorite place to live was Mesa, AZ. The only redeeming thing about that was sharing a home with my Sister. Our favorite place to live would be a tie between Happy Jack, AZ and Fort Collins, CO. Happy Jack was great because we were an hour from anywhere and the elk were rampant. Plus, it was our second year of marriage and I spent most of the year there pregnant with S. Fort Collins was the first place that really felt like we might be home. If you don't know why Fort Collins would be a favorite place to live, just google it and I promise you will quickly understand.
    We have so many memories to look back on and we can't wait to continue building upon those memories in all of the years to come.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

     I realize that I am severely lacking on my Sunday Creations that I was wanting to post every Sunday. Today the best thing we created was memories. My Sister and her Mister had to go home today, but not before we were able to spend a wonderful Mother's Day together with our Mom. This is the first Mother's Day I have been able to spend with my Mom in a very long time. They were living in Arizona and we were thirteen hours apart. Now we are half a mile apart.
     I want to wish any mom who is reading this a very sincere wish that we can remember just how lucky we are each and every day. Lucky to have these very special beings depend on us and love us so purely. Lucky for the brief moment we get to hold their hands. We are even luckier for the moms' that we had to raise us to be the loving moms we are now. Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sheep Dogs

  Today my Sister and her Mister came for another visit. This is a much needed visit. My days on the couch are starting to weigh on me. Hence the lack of posts lately. Sorry to let you down. Turns out there isn't much to write about when your world is reduced to a few walls. I'm not meaning to complain. See, I would stay on the couch the entire rest of my pregnancy if it meant that this baby could make a healthy entrance into this world.
  At any rate, today I did sneak away for a bit. My family, my Sis and Mister, my Mom and Mom-in-law all went to Hotchkiss for the Sheep Dog Trials. This consisted of first hitting up yard sales. The town promotes these sales and we really hoped to hit it big. Unfortunately, we didn't. We did walk away with a few small things. M picked up a load of doll clothes for twenty cents. After hitting up the sales, we wandered to a bank for a free BBQ. Then we finally made it over to watch the sheep dogs do their thing. Today was for the novice dogs and handlers. Which is still exciting, although it would have been great to see the more experienced dogs work. The point of the trials is for the dog and handler to get four sheep into a pen in less than five minutes. The dogs are not allowed to come in physical contact with the sheep. Only one that we saw was able to make the sheep pen up. At the event, there were a few booths set up. One of these booths was from Black Canyon Animal Sanctuary, which is where we adopted Ranger from. They had just received six orphaned Cairn Terriers. S got the opportunity to help bottle feed one of the puppies. I was oh so tempted to adopt one. Thankfully, my Sister called me back to reality and reminded me how many other tiny things I have to take care of. Thanks, Sis.

Almost in!

Hard at work.
It's so amazing to watch these dogs work.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Ranching of a Different Sort

After having a slow and lazy Saturday, one which Hubby took off from work since he hasn't been feeling well for the past few days, I decided it was time to get out of the house. Time for a drive. Head 'em up and move 'em out. Not all of the members of my family were initially thrilled with this idea. But once they saw where I was taking them they warmed right up to it. When my Aunts were here we took a drive to Hotchkiss via the most convoluted backroads imaginable. It was a fun and beautiful drive, but I don't think I could ever recreate that route. The goal of this original drive was to find an elk and bison ranch and then go thrift store shopping. Both things were eventually accomplished. Since Hubby and S were not with us on our voyage, today seemed like a good day to show them the ranch. Thankfully, I had discovered a somewhat faster and more direct route. It was a chilly, breezy day, but the sun was shining, which can make up for a lot. The bison were further off the road and therefore harder to get pictures of. The elk were right by the fence though. Now, as far as elk are concerned, I feel that I have always had a connection with these wonderful creatures. And not to sound all mystical or whatever, but I do think of them as S's spirit animal. I have had many very pleasant encounters with elk throughout the years, and they have always been in the wild. So to see them behind a ten foot fence with tags in their ears just like cattle was a little odd.

Across the way from the bison was a tree farm.
A pipe had sprung a leak and formed these beautiful icicles on the fence.

Mountain view of the West Elks from the road running in front of the bison and elk ranch.

M just had to get out and be closer to the elk.
After ogling them for a while and discussing the differences between raising cattle and raising elk, we kept driving and found ourselves at the Hotchkiss fish hatchery. The visitor center was closed for the day. However, we were still able to walk around the long troughs where the fish are being raised. This adventure delighted the children, especially T. Hubby discovered fish feed on the ground and the children spent the next forty-five minutes throwing feed into the troughs to get the fish to rise. It was pretty cool. S even got a fish to "bite" him. It was okay, he said, it felt like velcro. It was fun to see the Rainbow Trout ranging in size from three inches to twelve inches. The bison and elk ranch and the fish hatchery offer tours, so I know we will be visiting again soon. 

Munchkins in front of the fish troughs.

I can't believe I captured one jumping out of the water!

The hatchery sits right next to the Gunnison River.
These falls flow into the river.