Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.

Learning to serve the Lord and my family one day at a time.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Laura's Birthday

Laura's birthday was well over a month ago, and I am just now writing a post about it. Surprise, surprise. We've been somewhat busy but honestly, sitting down to blog when Laura is asleep isn't at the top of my to do list or how to waste time online when I really should be working on my to do list.

We have been very blessed and made several sweet friends since we have moved here to Colorado. David's coworkers all came to Laura's party as they had the day off for Veterans Day weekend and several friends from church came as well. My wonderful Mom, who just can't get enough of her first grand baby, flew in from Texas to celebrate as well.


 I had fun planning Laura's party and it's a good thing I had a budget because boy is it sure easy to go overboard on a kid's party. I tried to keep things simple and planned a light lunch of fruit salad, veggies, and chicken salad sandwiches served on croissants from Costco. If you ever need (or just want to stuff your face with) croissants, Costco is the place to buy them. They are only 50 cents each as opposed to the over a $1 each ones from Kroger and melt in your mouth, make you forget your wheat free diet delicious! I snuck one the day before the party just to do a quality check.

I thought about making a cake myself but since I was making lunch as well I didn't want to add one more thing to my cooking list and ordered a small cake and a smash cupcake from Kroger. Kroger likes to have regional names for their stores and the stores here are called "King Sooper" but I think that "tis a silly name" and we just call it Kroger.

We had about 20 guests including kids and Laura did seemed a bit overwhelmed by all the noise, people and attention. When it was time to sing "Happy Birthday" I was waiting for her to burst into tears! She looked so confused and scared. She wasn't too sure about the cake at first but after a few bites she enjoyed licking off the icing and the yummy sugar of course.

Laura received many sweet and thoughtful presents but her favorite so far seems to be a box of books from my friend Heather. She carries the little box around the house, asking me to open the box and then  proceeds to take each tiny book out, one by one and place them back in again. It is so fun to watch her personality emerge with each passing week.

Chewing on her new book

 Baby friends from church
Laura's friend Eli 
Winter hat from David's coworker

Bitty Baby from Mom and Dad 

Smash cake

Not too sure about this 

I'll try it I guess 

Hmm, this is quite yummy! 

Grandma feeding Laura some ice cream 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Finding Christ in Disappointment

I held off watching the news all day yesterday. I knew there wouldn't be any results until at least 8pm our time so finally at 8:50 I turned on the TV. Obama at 244 and Romney at 203 I knew the election was, for all intents and purposes, over.

I turned if, off not wanting to be totally disgusted and sat on the couch sullen. A few minutes later I turned it back on, only to see Ohio called for Obama bringing him to 266 electoral votes and close enough to a win to call it over. 

The night before last, David and I sat at the dinner table discussing the election and the possible outcome and I remarked how easy it was to think that Romney was somehow our conservative political savior who would come riding in to save America from massive deficits, big government and a decaying economy. But he's not! Christ is our Savior. God uses men for His Glory and to bring about His will but we cannot look to politicians to save us. Christians in this country are so used to living in a so called Christian nation where morality, honor, integrity and belief in God are held by the majority of citizens. It seems this era may be coming to a close but we cannot despair. Christ has died, he has risen, and he will come again! 

As I laid in bed last night, nearly in tears, I was reminded of God's sovereignty and His love for us. That is all that matters when I come to the end of my time here on earth. This hymn from the 19th century was brought to mind and I meditated on it as I fell asleep. 

  1. My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
    • Refrain:
      On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
      All other ground is sinking sand,
      All other ground is sinking sand.
  2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale,
    My anchor holds within the veil.
  3. His oath, His covenant, His blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When all around my soul gives way,
    He then is all my hope and stay.
  4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    Dressed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.

Christ Jesus was nailed, bleeding and naked to a tree like a common criminal when he had the power to take himself down and walk away. Instead, he willingly hung there, died and was seperated from his heavnly father. Just for his people. One day "all that is sad will come untrue" and until that day we strive on to honor God and serve him in the broken, messy, fallen world we live in. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday Photo

I stumbled across a new photography blog thanks to Pinterest last week. I've been feeling very bored and quite frankly bad at photography lately and really needed something to get the creative juices flowing again, challenge my photography skills and teach me to use my camera better. Each Sunday, at the blog Ashley Sisk, she posts five items to photograph each week and a link up from the previous weeks challenge. So here goes my first week. 

If a picture is bad or mediocre....make it black and white, thus the two black and whites this week. 


View from the Top


 Faceless Self Portrait

 Pulled this last one from my archives but here's my nephew Benjamin stacked on his momma's knees

Monday, October 15, 2012

Yellowstone Adventures

Or how we drove 24 hours in four days and got the stomach bug along the way.

Let me just start off by saying I think David and I are a bit crazy when it comes our determination to enjoy living out west this year. Don't worry, I don't think I'll be skiing while wearing Laura in the Ergo but we certainly don't let having a baby hamper our adventurous spirit.

David had a four day weekend the first weekend of October and we planned a trip to Yellowstone a few weeks prior. We knew it would be our only chance to go while living so "close" (if a 12 hour drive is your idea of close) and wanted to take advantage of his coveted time off of work.

I haven't completely lost my mind luckily and we decided against camping and rented a (heated) cabin in the park instead. I'm very glad we chose not to camp because the temperatures were as low as 9 degrees one night and we even received a light dusting of snow.

We decided it would work best to leave around 2 am Friday morning and drive while Laura (hopefully) slept since it would be her normal sleeping time. T- 2 hours David wakes up throwing up. Gulp. I practically cried and I fell back asleep knowing we would have to cancel the trip. We awoke the next morning and David was feeling much better and we decided to go ahead and make the 12 hour drive to Yellowstone. The car was already packed so I grabbed some coffee and hit the road.

The drive went very well and David was feeling well enough to drive by the afternoon. Laura got a bit crabby so I broke out the laptop with a few Signing Time DVDs I had borrowed from the library. We arrived at the East Entrance around 7pm and by that point, I wasn't feeling so well and it had begun to snow. Fortunately we drove out of the snow at it stayed about freezing so we didn't have to put the snow chains on the car.  It took nearly two full hours to drive to the far northwest side of the park where I cabin was located. We checked in and settled into our cute cabin (without a bathroom) for the night.

We didn't get much rest that night as I was up the entire night throwing up. Read 10 times!! At first I would run out to the communal bathroom behind our cabin but I eventually gave up and just threw up in the trash can! Laura couldn't sleep because she had a cold and spent part of the night asleep on David's chest.

Grand Tetons

I felt reasonably better in the morning so we set off in the car once again to see the park. Yellowstone is so huge you it takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to get between the different features in the park. We stayed in Mammoth Hot Springs and enjoyed seeing the elk herds who frequent there as well as the mineral deposits and steam vents. The landscape and scenery in Yellowstone are for the most part, not as awe inspiring as Yosemite or the Tetons but the landscape is very unique and dotted with thermal hot spots and geysers that make the park interesting and beautiful in it's own way.

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone was probably my favorite stop on our trip. The water falls drops 300 feet and we were able to get near the drop off point as watch the water gushing over the massive falls.

The thermal activity in Mammoth has created calcium-carbonate deposits that look like snow from a distance. You walk to the different thermal spots, geysers and mud pits via a board walk that protects you from boiling steam and water and keep the thermal features from being destroyed by the 2.3 million people who visit the park each year.

We saw Old Faithful and another geyser erupt as well as the thermal pools and gurgling mud pits. One place smelled so badly I nearly gagged. Laura was such a trooper the whole trip. She's such a great little traveler.

Old Faithful

Boiling river where a hot spring meets the Gardner River and you can swim

Yellowstone River water fall at the canyon

We drove home through the Teton Mountains to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Again I was wishing for more time but glad we were able to see these incredible mountains on our way out of the park. We stayed a few hours at a motel and got up at 2 am to drive home. After a sausage biscuit breakfast around 7 I started feeling badly again. David passed me a tupperware and I threw up three times on the drive home. Somehow if we both get sick I always get it much worse than him.

Finally made it home around noon on Monday morning and I slept the day and night away trying to fight off this nasty bug. By Tuesday I was mostly recovered but sure glad to put all that behind me. Maybe many moms feel this way, but I'm starting to find vacations no longer relaxing but just stressful and draining. I planned this trip for several weeks, took three days shopping, cooking and packing and just felt exhausted after we got home!

I really enjoyed our trip but I wish we had time to savor the different areas of the park more. We didn't do much hiking as I was still feeling rather weak and tired from being sick and we always enjoy our hikes together. I'm glad we were able to go but if we ever go again, I'd love to spend a whole week there.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Laura 10 months

Nothing much new out west here in Colorado. A rainy day yesterday cleared in the late afternoon to reveal a snow capped Pikes Peak. I just can't get over the mountains. They take my breath away every time I see them and I am reminded of God's goodness in creating such incredible beauty for His Glory! Laura is close to walking and keeps teasing us with a step or two every now and then but all in good time I suppose. 

Her first word besides babbling "mamama" is "dog." She had uttered "d" a few times at Lilly and other dogs, but at friend's house on Monday she looked out the window and said "dog" clear as day. It has been so fun watching her develop and learn new skills each month.

10 months and I could barely get her to lay still for a picture

She wanted the felt numbers on her head

Our little joy! 

Baby love is a chubby tummy in a onesie 
Skirt and tights  
Loves the windows 
Found daddy's reflector belt

I think this captures Laura very well 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Costco - Is it worth it

After some debate we decided to join Costco for a year. I had been with a friend and impressed by the prices on diary and produce and we felt like the savings on milk alone were worth the cost of a membership. The regular membership is $55 for a year but they have an executive membership that earns 2% back that is $110. 

While the executive membership is twice the price, Costco is so sure you'll use it (ie that you will spend at least $2750) that they will refund the difference if your 2% cash back check is less than the cost of your upgrade making it a no loose situation. $2750 x 2% = $55 Since the total doesn't include gas I highly doubt we will spend at least $2750 but at least we will get the difference back no matter what. I guess many people either spend more because they are getting 2% back or don't come back in for the difference. 

Here's a price breakdown of items I believe are a good price at Costco. I have heard that prices vary by store and can fluctuate. The gas is a great price often 10 cents cheaper but the standard gas here in Colorado is 85 Octane which is not good for your car. We are having to buy midgrade 87 Octane and Costco only sells 85 Octane and 91 Octane. The 91 is often the same price at the 87 at other stores but I wish they sold 87 at a discount. 
  • Cheddar cheese- $2.50 per pound for a two pound block. I'm happy to get it on sale at Kroger for $4 per pound so this is a great price. 
  • Bacon - $3/pound - $11.79 for four pounds.  I don't know if this is a good price since I've never really kept an eye on price per pound at the grocery store. 
  • Breakfast sausage $2.33/pound 
  • Butter $7.49 for four pounds - $1.89 per pound (awesome price!) 
  • Fresh strawberries- four pounds flat at $1.09 per pound 
  • Eggs - 18 count $2.99 - 16 cents each. What's up with egg prices? Oh my! 
  • Protein powder - six pound bag for $49 - $8 per pound. Cheaper than what we usually buy online. 
  • Milk - The Costco in Augusta sells the gallons individually but the Costco near us only sells them two in a box which is fine since David drinks a lot of milk. Two gallons for $3.95 - $1.97 per gallon! This is a savings of at least a $1 per gallon versus the grocery store. Milk is cheaper in Colorado than it was in Georgia. 
  • Extra Virgin Organic Coconut oil - 72 ounces for $20- .256 per ounce. Fantastic price! 
  • Dog food - I was feeding Lilly Iams or Purinia One but the Kirkland Brand is cheaper and much better quality according to Dog Food Review so I'm going to switch her over in September. 40 pound bag $28- .70 per pound verses the $1+ I was paying at Walmart for Iams. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First Camping Trip in Colorado

Last weekend we headed out west to Lake George, Colorado to camp with some friends from our Sunday School class at 11 Mile Canyon. After setting up our tent we enjoyed chicken cooked over a campfire and fellowship with our new friends. Laura had a hard time settling down but finally fell asleep only to wake up again hysterical and overtired at 10 pm when we headed to bed. Nothing would settle her down so David drove her around for 30 minutes (!) until she was sound asleep. We've never done that but it sure works in a pinch.

Saturday, Laura and I relaxed at the campsite while David hiked to the top of the canyon. David also did some rock climbing with another guy in our group. We ended the day with another hike with Laura in the Ergo before closing up camp before the rain headed in. Laura enjoyed herself and was able to crawl around on a tarp and play with her toys.

On Thursday we went rock climbing for the first time outdoors and I loved it! I will confess I did not look down the entire time I was climbing and wasn't too keen about repelling down after I reached the top. We are going again this week and I can't wait. We climb with the other residents from David's dental program and they take turns holding Laura. Who says you can't have adventures with kids?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Laura 9 Months

Our little munchkin is up to trouble these days and I can only imagine the disasters to come in the future months and years. I think she has transitioned to our new home very well. She even took a nap in the church nursery on Sunday! She's often pretty quiet, slinking off to the staircase when I have my back turned or suddenly appearing right at my feet when I thought she was off playing by herself in another room.
Playing in the kitchen while I unpack

She is pulling up and cruising the furniture and pushing a little toy walker Grandma bought around the house. If there's papers or books on a table or surface of any kind they must be thrown on the floor according to Laura. Taking toys in and out of her toy basket is always fun and our living room constantly looks like a tornado (or a 9 month old) destroyed it. I have caught her eating dog food on multiple occasions or drenched in water from Lilly's water dish. 

Hamming it up for the camera

She is finally cutting her first two teeth! Laura loves opening and closing doors and cabinets and our old house is full of doors for her to play with. The front door looks out onto a busy road and she will stand at the door for 10-15 minutes at a time watching the world go by.

Hanging on with just one hand

Hiking in the Ergo with Daddy