Sunday, May 17, 2015

Trip to The Mount Rushmore State in Pictures...and a Few Words

Crazy Horse Memorial

Finn, pointing to Mt Rushmore "look at all those faces!" 

Our biggest little and our littlest little prefer looking "stoic" in pictures. 

Tristan asked if one of the faces was George Washington. Trinity said "no Tristan, that one is Abraham." Just Abraham. 

Riding a "Jackalope"

Kissing for the camera...

...and smiling for the camera. 

We visited the Custer State Park which became probably my favorite place on earth thus far. I'm not sure if  it was the thick fog cloaking the tall pines, or the rolling hills, the winding rippling streams or the beautifully filtered air - whatever it was it was magic - it was the strength of the Rocky Mountains perfectly mixed with the gentle sloping Smokies 

The animals we spotted were all so content, calm. There were babies deer, baby bison, baby burros...all walking along with their mamas, nuzzling them. The baby bison would bounce and chase eachother, nudge their mothers in the head and the mom would gently nudge back, amusing their little ones. They had no fear out in their own element, in their space. Hundreds and hundreds of protected acres for them to wander and prosper and be safe as they have for hundreds of years. It made my heart very glad.  

"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will teach you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea infom you.Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind."
- Job 12: 7-10 

My husband said to me "this makes me never want to live in a city again." I agreed. 

This white lady stole the show. 

We spotted a flock of wild turkeys and all I could think was "good for you, you'll escape Thanksgivings everywhere." 

Gentle faced doe

"let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them, then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; "
- Pslam 96:12

"Oh, here we are at the bridge. I'm going to shut my eyes tight. I'm always afraid going over bridges. I can't help imagining that perhaps, just as we get to the middle, they'll crumple up like a jackknife and nip us. So I shut my eyes. But I always have to open them after all when I think we're getting near the middle. Because, you see, if the bridge did crumple up I'd want to see it crumple. What a jolly rumble it makes! I always like the rumble part of it. Isn't it splendid there are so many things to like in this world?"
 - L.M Montgomery 

There are so many things, love in this world. Custer South Dakota is one of them.

 While we were winding our way around the forests or standing just feet away from a huge national monument I felt very blessed to be  part of such a wonderful country. Things aren't perfect here, neither are they anywhere. But what I do know, is that I'm free and I'm thankful for that.
 I have choices here in America. I can choose to homeschool my kids, or send them to school. I can take it one step further and choose to send them either to private school, or to public school. I can have as many children as I choose to have or as many as God gives me. I can be a stay at home mom or choose to work outside the home. I can take that a step further and choose to work as many jobs as have time for. If a crisis did occur I could find help, I could get assistance for groceries, heating bills, maybe even rent.
 I can pursue my dreams if I'm driven to pursue them, I can live in a city or I could choose to live in the  country...I can worship at my church loudly with raised hands, or in my quiet bedroom. I can practice yoga in my backyard, or go for long walks at the neighborhood park and not be afraid. I can own a car, a home, stock and retirement funds. I can drive six hours away with my husband and not have to have special permission from anyone. I have libraries available to me, any kind of grocery store I could want .... places to buy cheap clothes or places to buy more expensive clothes. I have freedom here in America and I'm thankful for the men and women that make that possible. I'm thankful to the ultimate Creator who had such vision to make a world so diverse, so full of life.  Seeing the world is a huge gift...whether it's right here in my own state, a few hours away, or across the sea. But, I think above all, being able to live with open eyes, a loving heart for people, the earth, and the creatures on it, is free and fulfilling. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Little things...

little strawberries, juicy and sweet 

little blooms, light green...slowly evolving

A little dress, sweet and simple

Little blue eyes, one set out of four that I get to love

Little brothers, little friends, little hugs

My four little people that I'm blessed to cherish...A great big staggering mountain of love. 

Happy Mother's day to all the mamas out there...the expectant women with babies growing in their bellies, the moms with several littles underfoot, and the mothers who support and encourage their full grown kiddos. Your daily sacrificial love is noticed hopefully by those around you but DEFINITELY by the One who loves you most...  may you all have a blessed day with the Father's Love heaped upon you. 

 A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May a Little Late

Happy May My Peeps ...
I can call you that can't I? I'm in desperate need of "peeps." 
Things have been pretty busy around our little place this past week, here's some of the things we did to end our April and begin our May. 

Rainy day family painting...every man (and child) for himself. 

I made a huge crock pot full of bone broth. Verdict - a smelly process that makes our basement reek. Even my hubby wondered if there might be a better place...the garage perhaps? But then, what would the neighbors think if they got a whiff of what's cookin? I did feel rather victorious though when I bottled that first quart, all warm and amberish. If you want to feel domestic, boiling up a bunch of cow bones will do it. Gag.

Lots and lots of rain - the earth is officially green around here and I now remember why it is that I love Colorado. 

New flowers blooming and spider webs with crystal drops - if I could be any insect it would be a spider. They are so beautiful and artistic and rather cunning. Yes, I would be a spider.

Thrift store treasure hunting - someone drew the above picture in colored pencil and either gave it to someone or sold it or got tired of it or SOMETHING tramatic. Who would get rid of this?! 
Sad, sad, sad. Maybe for them it was wonderful...maybe they were decluttering and they just have too many beautiful hand made things. I can't imagine having too many pieces of art...gulp, maybe they...died...and whoever took over the estate has no eye for beautiful things. I would have liked to have been at that estate sale.Anyways,  their loss, my treasure. Pretty sure it's from another country too because of the signature on the bottom. 

Real pottery - 2 beautiful dollars and it was mine.

Both of my youngest became surgeons in the past week... 

...and the tree house finally got it's coat of paint! Isn't it cute?! My husband is a handy man and one pretty awesome daddy to put this together for the kids and me. I love sitting up there with a pillow and staring up at the leaves (I almost had a collision with one rather large brown squirrel the other day that could have been disastrous. I gave him his space though and he eventually wandered off. I guess he didn't enjoy the fact that we took over his turf. I could just hear him thinking "when did the human species start building houses in trees?!"

Peacock spotting at the zoo - pretty sure it was mating season because peacocks were everywhere splaying their feathers and wagging their tails at eachother. It was pretty comical to watch. I think it will be a new tradition for us ... every May Day go to watch the peacocks strut their stuff. 

Our little (ha! All 48 pounds of him) May Day baby celebrated his fourth birthday with a trip to the Denver zoo, a picnic and some vanilla gluten free cake (we skipped the frosting this year.) I'm officially baby and toddler free sniff sniff. It makes my heart hurt a little to know the baby years are over, the other part of me feels somewhat relieved and excited about the future. It's a complicated life folks...being a woman and all. 

Finn loves animals and being outside so it was a perfect place to go with him. 

Poor little elephant. I guess in a lot of countries the elephants keep getting into the rice fields and even stampeding people's huts. Whenever they put up fences the elephants can still trample them down and their skin is even resistant to electricity! So, the people take it upon themselves to keep the elephants away which usually doesn't end up so well - a lot of the elephants at the zoo are rescued. That makes me happy, but wild animals being caged also makes me feel a little sad - I'm sure they would like to go home. It's a pretty confusing world isn't it?

Tristan got his first wiggly tooth!!! I'm not sure I want ANY of his little anythings to go away quite yet. He's such a cuddly koala. 

I guess that's about all that has been going on with our little family. Trinity learned to ride a bike, my gorgeous boy Brady scored his first goal in soccer (it was so amazingly awesome) and Zac is finishing up his pre med classes this week. He will begin paramedic school in June. 
We are off this next week to South Dakota to check out the Black Hills for the first time. I'm so excited to sit next to my baby, hold hands in the car and listen to some of our 90's  tunes, drink coffee and get the heck out of dodge for a bit! I love showing my littles the world...

Happy May (a little late) dear readers. 

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” 
― Augustine of Hippo

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Truth

 I found this sign hanging on Squirrel's door...

"Pretty, Kind, and Gentle Trinity"

I quite agree...and I'm glad she knows it.
Why not see ourselves the way He does? 

"You're always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company."
- Diane Von Furstenburg

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
- Philippians 4:8 The Message