After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ahhhh . . . the memories.

I love holidays with family. I love family. I love my family and I love my husband's family. This Thanksgiving we spent with my family. Making memories.

Memories like playing in the hot tub when it's freezing out. Oh how it makes little girls steam.

And the food--nothing like whipped cream covered olives!

And eating whipped cream but not the pie.

Making and decorating sugar cookies with great grandma.

Visiting the horse we haven't seen in months.

Grace was SO excited to go visit him. She told him, "Shamere! I'm six now!" Made my heart happy. This girl loves this horse and this horse has another little girl to love. Somehow horses do a girl's heart good. Even this big girl who is the little girl's mama.

Violet was very excited about the horse, too. In fact, she didn't want to get off of him or leave.

And grandma had birthday pizza.

Yes, we sang Happy Birthday and we had candles on our traditional turkey pizza. Grace found the candles when we went shopping on Thursday afternoon. They have colored flames.

It was grand. We have so much we are thankful for.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Everything is . . .


This is what the sunset did this evening.

I've missed this.

There's something surreal about the whole world turning pink.

Goofy girls

Grace is pretty goofy.

And her littlest sister seems to be following her example.

These kids make me giggle.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm still giggling

A few weeks ago I helped in Grace's kindergarten class. Grace really likes her teacher, and I do, too. I've always thought it took someone special to teach a bunch of little kids. And having taught high school for a few years, I have come to realize that while Grace's teacher has no desire to teach high school, I have no desire to teach kindergarten.

This seemed to be a new idea for her and she was just as in awe of me teaching high school as I am of her teaching kindergarten.

Then one of her co-workers walked in.

"Do you have some panties?"

"Yes, I do."

And she digs through her closet and emerges with a little bag of little undies.

I had to giggle.

If I had kept a bag of undies in my classroom, I probably would have lost my job.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Little V is getting . . . not so little.

I'm always amazed when my children suddenly seem to explode with growing up. Suddenly Violet is reaching all kinds of new levels and doing all kinds of new things. She's communicating with words, is obsessed with puppies, gives high fives, thumbs up, and wears her baby cow (which she calls a puppy, but the kitty is a baby).

She is my newest "runner" (Go give this to your sister, please, and off she goes) and the other day when we were getting Calla ready for school, she insisted she have a backpack, too.

She got a new hat a couple weeks ago and she was so proud. She walked around here grinning and showing off for about an hour.

When she was about a week old I told Brent that we needed to get another one because this one was growing up too fast.

But oh they are fun to watch grow.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sammy Bags! They're BACK!

I've listed three handbags for preview--they'll go live tomorrow (11/19). If all goes well, there should be three more listed by tomorrow morning before it goes live.

The bags themselves are simple and practical. My personal bag went with us everywhere this summer, particularly on every trip to Yellowstone--(scroll through the photos here and see how many times you spot it!), and I'm continually amazed at what I can stuff into it.

Because of the design, the bag slips into the crook of my arm and I easily forget about it since it isn't constantly bumping me or sliding off my shoulder while I wrangle kids and whatever else I'm wrangling at the moment.

Check them out here!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

He loves us

Yes, he loves us. And, yes, he split that whole pile by himself with the big heavy splitting maul. After he went into the forest and found trees, cut them up and brought them home.

No, he didn't do it all in one day.

But if he had to, he would. That's how much he loves us.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy Monday! Lots to announce today!

So, there's an auction. An auction for a Silly Goose Baby mei tai featuring YOUR Pockets. All the proceeds will be donated to Tingly Toes.

Did you know that Tingly Toes won an award????? Yup! Tingly Toes is an award winning charitable organization! Read about it here. :)

The carrier up for auction features chocolate brown canvas and the winner chooses between these two fabric combinations.


I listed all the carriers I have sitting here. If you are looking for a goose, you'll find one (or two or three) here. :) (Just a friendly reminder of what happened last time we drove to Oregon--so go buy the last of these, please!) There are some stunning in-stock carriers still there!


This mama also listed two slots for specialty Geese. I'm talkin' applique, with pockets if you'd like. Because these pockets are AWESOME! And this mama also wants to fly to Oregon for Christmas instead of drive. (Just a friendly reminder of what happened last time we drove to Oregon--so go buy the last of these, please! But I may have already said that . . . )


Check out the logo for YOUR Pockets.

I like it.


Check this out.

This is an applique Goose featuring YOUR Pockets. I almost kept this one. But it needed to go snuggle a baby.

The listings here also have an option for a matching gosling (a doll carrier)in addition to the pockets. (I want to FLY to Oregon! Just a friendly reminder of what happened last time we drove to Oregon--so go buy the last of these, please! But I may have already said that . . . Oh, I did, but it's worth saying again . . . )

Friday, November 13, 2009

She's grounded from walls from this point forward

Just over a month ago we had our first incident with stitches in an incident of head vs. wall.

Then last Friday we had head vs. wall again. And again, it was our little Calla. Only this time she had ten stitches instead of six. And this time it was a bit more traumatic.

Yesterday when I was putting some goop on it like I'm supposed to she said, "Ow, mom! That hurts!"

"Did you bump it on anything?"


"What did you bump it on?"

"The wall."

I'm grounding her from walls. If that doesn't work, we're taking them all out of the house.

Okay, so that probably isn't the best solution. But hopefully she'll learn sooner rather than later to have some more respect for the immovable structures.

I don't know how many more scars I want on that pretty little head of hers.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


In everyone's life there are certain milestones. Big ones and little ones. Parenting is no different. It begins with the news that you are expecting, then mom grows out of her normal clothes and labor begins. Labor itself has several milestones, and then there is a baby.

I remember one particular milestone when Grace was just tiny. One day I was working around the house and looked down to realize that I was looking at a major milestone and my life would never, ever, ever be the same.

Something had moved and I hadn't moved it. I remember freezing as time held still to allow the enormity of that fact sunk in.

Last night at our house we had yet another milestone. I asked the daddy of the house, "Am I making P-O-P-C-O-R-N?"

Grace looked at me and said, "Hey! That spells POPCORN!"

Yes, dear, it does. And now we need a new strategy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans' Day

Today in honor of Veterans' Day I baked bread. That's not unusual, but I did take a loaf of fresh warm bread to my neighbor. She's a sweet little lady who is sharp as ever and served with the WAAC and the WAC during WWII.

I knocked on her door, she let me in. I handed her the bread and told her that my visit and the bread was a small thank you.

She smiled, told me she was embarassed by it all and that the Army gave her much more than she ever gave it. And it's how she met her husband.

She wrote a book about her experience. Said her heart is in that book. She loaned me a copy.

We visited a bit about the military and writing and motherhood. I hugged her. Told her thank you. And now I'm going to read this book (I'm on page 31) and go back to visit with her some more.

Thank you, veterans. Even if you don't feel it was much, thank you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I love all kinds

I have all kinds of friends. All kinds. And I love them all dearly. And they claim to love me.

Yesterday I was talking to one of my friends. I love her to pieces. She knows it. And I know that she has clawed her way to where she is now.

She had gone out the weekend before. And when she goes out, even if she has innocent and uneventful plans, something eventful always happens.

I wonder why this is at times. But then she reminds me without even trying.

He finally has a job.

And he's out of jail.

And he's going to all his meetings.

And then I laugh at her because as it comes out of her mouth she realizes what she's saying and what it actually sounds like.

Really. I love her to pieces. But I do just shake my head and laugh at her.

And she laughs and we go on our merry way.

Yes, I love all kinds. I really, really do. And I do pray that someday she meets one that she doesn't have to say that about. And they live happily ever after.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I remember apporaching the doors, looking down the aisle at the man who would become my husband and suddenly realizing that not only was I marrying who he was today, but I would be married to whoever he became for the rest of our lives. It was a profound thought that was suddenly surprising. I hadn’t thought of that before. I couldn’t know what he would become. But that was the commitment I was making. It seemed so huge at that moment and I had a fear start to creep into my being.

But then I looked again at that man and remembered that I trusted him. And I looked again at my father standing there by me, oblivious to what I was thinking. I was reminded that he raised his little girl into the young lady standing there anxiously with her arm in his, and he trusted her. That was the first time in my life that I realized what it was like to truly commit to someone for life, for all the right reasons. It was one of those life changing moments.

Seven years later on New Year’s Day we learned that my belly and our family would be growing. There was a little life in there and even though we didn’t know anything other than it was in there, we loved that little life and we knew that no matter what that little life became, we were committed to loving that little life. The little life’s daddy joked that it had to be a boy because he didn’t know what to do with girls. Coming from families heavy on the boys, it was a legitimate statement.

Being the one carrying the baby I wondered lots of things as I rubbed my growing tummy. I now knew what it was like to be pregnant, but I still had no idea what the rest of motherhood held. The best I could get out of people was a look that I didn’t understand. I felt like I should understand it, but I didn’t. Was I missing something?

Soon I began to feel that I would be pregnant forever. That this baby would never come. That I would never understand that look women were giving me when they learned it was our first. That I just might hold this baby in my tummy forever.

Even though I had never been in labor before, I knew what it was when it started. It was getting stronger and changing and moving along. There was an end in sight. I was in the moment, feeling everything and doing what I thought needed to be done to bring this little person into the world the way I wanted to.

And then, there she was. Beautiful, healthy, perfect. They put her on my chest and she picked up her pretty little head and looked at me. At that moment I knew that I could love this little person forever. I could love whatever she was and whatever she became. And I looked at her daddy and knew that he knew exactly what to do with little girls. And I remember saying after twelve hours of labor, “I could do that again.”

Now, two more babies later, I know what that look is. Motherhood isn’t something that can be explained to someone who has not experienced it. Motherhood isn’t something that is easily defined. You hear all sorts of things, that your body will never be the same, that you will never be the same, that your life will never be the same. But that does not even begin to capture what you will experience.

My journey to becoming a mother involved an awakening. Something inside me awakened and I knew that if I chose to trust it, it would change who I was.

And it did.

It changed how I think. It changed what I do and where I want to go and who I want to be with. It changed my priorities and desires. Now, it doesn’t matter that my body will never be the same. It doesn’t matter that I will never be the same, or that my life will never be the same.

I know because I’ve experienced it. I know what that look means now. I’ve given that look. I know because now I can’t imagine life without these three little people. I know because I realized that my life before I had children was so one dimensional. So uneventful. So empty.

I know that I’m doing what I was meant for. I am loving who my children are. I am loving who they are becoming. And I am loving who they will be. And I will do that until I can’t do it anymore.

This is who I am. It’s what I’ve become. It’s what I will be always. I trust it and it fills me up.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sleeping babies

Before we go to bed every night Brent goes up and checks on the girls. Every once in a while he comes down smiling and shaking his head and says I should go get the camera. The last time he said that, this is what I found.

She's TOTALLY asleep. And she's still hanging onto that book.

I was reminded of this picture.

That's a french fry, by the way.

That kid can fight sleep. But once she hits a certain point, there is just no fighting it any more. Even to finish the french fry.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm so sad, part two

I missed potato harvest. Today I was reminded again of this utterly disappointing fact when I walked out and saw this in the field.


But here's what I know about potato harvest, other than it involves quite a few potatoes.

The machines are really big. And this particular machine is operated by a cell-phone using man.

This is a potato truck--they use them for grain, too. But see that nifty little flap on the top? It's nifty and it uses hydraulics. That's all I know about it.

Here the potatoes are coming out of the ground and going into the truck. The truck just drives along beside the harvester until it gets full and then another one comes and takes its place.

(Fun Fact: The company that manufactures the potato equiptment is called Spudnik.)

And they will harvest around the clock because they are racing the clock--or rather Mother Nature.

Mother Nature beat them to the punch here. The potatoes froze in the ground and if they were to harvest them, the likelihood that the entire cellar full of potatoes rots is pretty high.

So, I shall wait until next year. And eat my potatoes in the meantime. Because before we left, while it was snowing, I was out digging potatoes. It was like I knew it was now or never--or next fall at least.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween hangover

What is it about Halloween that makes life for the next week so weird? And then there's the daylight savings time thrown in there to totally throw us off.

But they were cute.

Amazing Grace:

Super Calla:

Ultra Violet:

This is a pretty smart town we live in here in Idaho. At 4:00 they have a trunk-or-treat downtown. They block off four blocks of main street and memebers of the community can park their cars and hand out candy. Some of them totally get into it.

And it is fun to walk up and down the street in a sort of parade and visit with other families.

Then it's on to the rest of the town. We did a total of two blocks more I think. Mostly because the family we put down as Grace's "snow" family (the family she'll stay with if the weather prevents her from getting home from school) lives on that block and Grace hadn't seen their house yet.

You know you live in a small town when there is a bowl of treats outside the door, including homemade popcorn balls.

We were done and home before 6pm. And it was still light out. Smart town we live in. Smart town.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Every day

Every day at least once I look out the window and marvel at how beautiful it is here. Today it was several times.

Brent got home this evening and took the girls outside. Moments later he came back in. This is what they had found.

The kids totally got into it.

Oh Idaho. You are so beautiful. I know I haven't wintered though yet, but I still think people should shop shaking their head when I tell them they should move here.