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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


     I love to cook. I love the freedom and flexibility in throwing tasty things together to make a delicious dish. I always try to follow a recipe precisely the first time I make something. But after that, there is a lot of tweaking that happens. If I could manage to go to culinary school and still home educate my children, I totally would. In the meantime, I will make do with cooking for my family and the occasional guest.             
    Baking, on the other hand, kills me. I can handle baking sweet breads every once in a while. I make awesome No Bake cookies. But my patience for baking ends at anything more complicated than that. I don't know why. Well, maybe I do. It's the precision of baking. Over mix and you end up with a bad result. Under mixing is the same. If the oven is too hot or too cold, you end up with chicken food instead of a tasty cake. I have a lot of distractions in my day to day life that make baking a very stressful situation. However, I also have a very persistent daughter. Maycee is always wanting to bake something. She loves the measuring and mixing and especially the sweet end result. So today, I relented and we made devil's food cake from scratch. We also made caramel icing. And I have to say, it really wasn't so bad. Even with the extra "help" from Thane and also needing to stop in the middle to nurse Iris. Maybe I am becoming a patient person in my old age. Maybe baking isn't as bad as I have built it up in my head to be. Who knows? But one thing is certain, chocolate cupcakes with caramel icing and a shake of sea salt on top makes it all worth while.

Baking and waiting.

Stirring the caramel icing. She was much happier than she looks.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sewing, Painting, Visiting

      I have been spending my "free time" sewing more zippered bags. I completed one for Spencer, one for Maycee and one for myself. I have another bag cut out for me and one in the works for Hubby.
Spencer's bag (his is my favorite combination of fabric. I might have to make one like it for me!)

Maycee's bag

My bag (the green stripey fabric is an old shirt of mine)
      I discovered some really cool stain by Minwax. It is water based and therefore not smelly, or at least not as smelly as oil based stains. I picked it up so I can stain my nightstand, but have been staining smaller things instead.

My repurposed thread and scissors box

Matt made this stand to put over our printer for extra storage. Here it is pre-stain.

Here it is post stain, with only one coat so the grain can show through.

       Thane painted an owl plate using his handprint to go along with his owl mug. He really had a good time painting at 

       I am a wee bit obsessed with collecting antique Pyrex bowls. I have a decent amount but when I found these ones, I couldn't resist. 

         Today Iris turned three months. I love the newborn stage, but I really love what follows the three month mark. Already she is starting to laugh and really interact. She searches out her sister and brothers just so that she can smile at them. Here she is all wrapped up for bed.
       The kids and I were able to go to Grand Junction today to meet up with my friend and her family. Her hubby had just run a 55K in Moab and they were making their way back to Fort Collins. We ate lunch at Rockslide Brewery and let the kiddos run and climb around on some gorilla statues to get their wiggles out. It was a brief visit, but so nice to connect with familiar faces. I didn't manage to take a single picture, which is a shame.


Friday, February 17, 2012


       In an effort to learn more about this side of the state, we took a family trip to Fruita last Friday. Fruita is a small town just outside of Grand Junction. Hubby works there on occasion, but never had the opportunity to really check it out. So off we headed to explore. It is a cute little town, with sculptures on every corner, a nice downtown area and tons of outdoor activities to do. I am looking forward to going back in warmer weather for hiking.

Mike the Headless Chicken

Eating at the new brewpub, Suds Brothers.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sharing the Love

           It's that time again. Time for corporate bigwigs to remind us that we love our spouses. And not with a subtle hint, either. No. That's too easy and doesn't make anyone any moolah. Let's buy diamonds and roses and chocolate filled with gross gooey substances. I have never understood why we are supposed to only express our love publicly one day a year. I mean, I love my spouse at least 362 1/2 days a year. So let me say now, publicly, on this non-Valentines Day, that today I love my spouse. I love him in big ways and I love him in small ways. I love him for being such a great Dad. I love him for enduring my craziness day after day. I love him for fixing me omelets and vacuuming and building snow forts with the kids. I love him for working hard and staying with his job for the last 9 1/2 years. I love his creativity and his gentleness. I love him for letting me follow my dreams. On the thirteenth of this month we will celebrate fourteen years of staring at each others' faces. Fourteen years since we had our very first date. We saw Titanic together. That's a good way to have a long date and yet not really talk to each other. Thankfully, he asked me for a second date the next day and we actually had a Valentine's date. Probably our only one ever. I can't really remember. I have been with him almost half of my life. He has helped to make me who I am today. I love you, Matthew.
        Allright, enough with the smooziness. If you remember, last year I spoke of the love notes in our local free weekly paper. If you don't remember, click here to refresh your memory. This year did not disappoint. Four pages again of people loving their spouses, children, dogs, grandmas, neighbors, parents and our troops.That kind of Valentine I can appreciate. I also appreciate you, my lovely reader. Without you, I would just be writing to myself. And while that is okay, because I do tend to make myself laugh, I like thinking that I am making you laugh as well. So thank you for reading my randomness. My love to you this year, today and every day.

Iris and Maycee

I don't have much to say tonight. We had a busy, yet not very productive day. I'm not really sure how that worked out. Tonight, I will just leave you with some photos of my beautiful baby girls.

Sweet, sweet sleeping girl

Look at those blue eyes!

Dress up time. She doesn't even need to dress up to be beautiful.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ice Ice Baby

So. Ice and I are not friends. Me and Snow are close friends. We like each other even on bad days. Wind and I try not to acknowledge each others' existence, but we can at least communicate if need be. I enjoy Sun's company even if he sometimes makes me angry in July and August. Ice's little sister, Icicle, enthralls me with her beauty. But Ice and I are not even on speaking terms. Ice is dangerous. Cavalier with her power. She hides out in cruel fashion, lying just below the surface of beautiful Snow. Why, you ask, am I attacking Ice this evening? Let's call it payback. Payback for making me miss out on my plans today by tricking me and getting my truck stuck. In my own front yard. Yea. We didn't even make it off of our own property. I had to call my landlord to come unstick me. And then Ice tried to play another trick by nearly trapping him as well! I showed her in the end though. I made it off the property. Still missed my appointment, but at least the kids were able to attend their art class. She tried to get me again tonight as I took care of the animals. I think I pulled eight different muscles from catching myself at the last second. She is a reckless one. I do not like her. And she knows it. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Am A Sewing Machine

We have all been very creative in the past couple of weeks. I, personally, have been very motivated to sew. Somehow the circumstances worked in my favor and I was able to not only start, but actually FINISH multiple projects. Did you hear that? I think the angels just sang "Hallelujah"! I am also going to share pictures of the twin-sized blankets I made for the kiddos. Iris's blanket is still in the works.

Maycee helped me sew an apron for her doll.
Thane's train apron
The owl plate that Spencer painted.

The owl mug that Thane painted.
The heart box that Maycee painted.

The zippered bag I made for Thane. My first zipper project!

Throw pillow for my bed. It is envelope style.

Close up of the pillow. I love this fabric.

Maycee's blanket. All of the blankets are cotton on one side and flannel on the other.

Thane's blanket

Spencer's blanket.

Waterproof change pad/sheet saver for Iris.

Waterproof change pad/sheet saver for Iris.